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Oklahoma Court Sets Execution Dates For Three Death Row Inmates

Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Eugene Glossip
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set execution dates Wednesday for three inmates involved in the legal challenge regarding the state’s lethal injection protocol. 

The court ordered dates for Richard Eugene Glossip, Benjamin Robert Cole and John Marion Grant. Glossip will be executed Sept. 16, and the other two inmates have dates set on Oct. 7 and Oct. 28, respectively.

Glossip, Cole and Grant were part of a group of Oklahoma inmates who argued the state’s use of the sedativemidazolam in lethal injections could violate the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Critics of the drug claim it cannot reliably create a “deep, coma-like state.”

The case, Glossip v. Gross, was decided at the U.S. Supreme Court June 29. In a 5-4 decision, the justices ruled midazolam is constitutional.

The execution had been on hold since January. Oklahoma has carried out the death penalty using midazolam on two other occasions: Clayton Lockett on April 29, 2014 and Charles Warner on January 15, 2015. 

Oklahoma currently has 49 inmates on death row. 

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