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Oklahoma Death Row Inmates File Contempt Motions

The death chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Lawyers for Oklahoma death row inmates who filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block their executions have filed motions to hold the state's public safety commissioner and medical examiner in contempt of court for not turning over documents they have subpoenaed. 

The motions were filed Wednesday against Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Thompson and Dr. Eric Pfeifer, chief medical examiner. They state documents the death row inmates' lawyers requested almost five months ago have still not been turned over.

The documents involve the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed and moaned and before he was pronounced dead 43 minutes after the execution began.

The motion asks that the officials be held in contempt or ordered to comply. Their spokespersons did not immediately reply to emailed requests for comment.


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