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Governor Fallin's Legal Counsel Steps Down Amid Execution Investigation

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

A third high-ranking official associated with Oklahoma’s death penalty protocols stepped down Thursday. Governor Mary Fallin's legal counsel Steve Mullins announced his resignation after working for the governor since February 2012.  

Mullins testified before the grand jury in October into investigations of Oklahoma's executions. The death penalty has been under scrutiny in the state after a series of troubled executions, including a botched execution in 2014 when Clayton Lockett writhed and moaned on the gurney for more than 40 minutes and one last year where the wrong drugs were used to carry out the death penalty. 

Former Oklahoma State Penitentiary warden Anita Trammell and Department of Corrections director Robert Patton have also resigned.

The grand jury is scheduled to release its findings next month. All executions are currently on hold in Oklahoma.

In his resignation letter, Mullins said he is taking a voluntary buyout and is trying to "better control stress" in his life. 

Before working for Fallin, Mullins served as assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma and a senior legal advisor for the Department of Justice.

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