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Oklahoma executes death row inmate despite clemency recommendation

Phillip Hancock
Phillip Hancock

Despite a recommendation of clemency from the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board, the state executed its fourth and final death row inmate of 2023 on Thursday morning.

59-year-old Phillip Hancock was executed via lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester and pronounced dead at 11:29 a.m. on Thursday.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 to recommend clemency for Hancock, but Governor Kevin Stitt rejected the recommendation on the morning of the execution. Stitt has only granted clemency once - in the case of Julius Jones in 2021.

Hancock was found guilty of the 2001 murders of Robert Jett and James Lynch. He claimed he acted in self-defense.

This was the 11th execution in the state since the moratorium on the death penalty ended in 2021.

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Criminal Justice death penaltyOklahoma Pardon and Parole Board
Hannah France started her work in public radio at KBIA while studying journalism at the University of Missouri. While there, she helped develop and produce a weekly community call-in show, for which she and her colleagues won a Gracie Award. Hannah takes interest in a wide variety of news topics, which serves her well as a reporter and producer for KGOU.
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