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execution procedures

A tank filled with liquid nitrogen is seen outside of an Oklahoma City business that sells nitrogen for various commercial uses.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

The condemned man enters the room where he will draw his last breath.

He will be restrained in some way, perhaps strapped to the T-shaped platform where other offenders have been executed by injection.

ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel speaks at the Capitol on May 20, 2016 about the grand jury's findings on the state's execution protocol
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Oklahoma’s top officials say they’re taking time to thoroughly read a scathing 106-page report released Thursday criticizing Oklahoma’s execution protocols.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Department of Corrections Interim Director Joe Allbaugh both released statements acknowledging the 12-member panel of the multicounty grand jury and the process of reviewing capital punishment procedures.

“It is imperative that Oklahoma be able to manage the execution process properly,” Fallin said in a statement Thursday.

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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt says his office will defend the constitutionality of the state's method for executing death row inmates as the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge by three death row inmates.

Pruitt says Oklahoma's method has been deemed constitutional by two federal courts and has been successfully implemented in the state as well as in Florida.

Pruitt says his office will work to preserve the Department of Corrections' ability to proceed with death sentences given to each inmate by a jury of their peers.

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

Attorneys for two news organizations suing Oklahoma prison officials for preventing reporters from viewing portions of an execution that went awry in the spring are asking a federal judge to stop new state execution protocols from going into effect.

Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union filed a motion Tuesday in federal court asking a judge to order prison officials to give the media more access to witness an execution.

The plaintiffs in the case include The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers.

Robert Patton, Director, Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The head of Oklahoma's prisons system says he is confident the state can resume executions in November despite a federal judge's concern that the prison staff must be retrained following Clayton Lockett's prolonged death in April.

At a meeting of the state Corrections Board on Thursday in Enid, prisons director Robert Patton said he expects that inmate Charles Warner will die Nov. 13 and that other inmates will be executed in the weeks that follow.

Patton said a renovated death chamber will be ready next month.

East Central University professor Michael Copeland speaks to members of the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
Scott Carter / Oklahoma Watch

State Rep. Mike Christian told a House committee Tuesday that he favors dropping lethal injection and instead using an inert gas, such as nitrogen or helium, to execute condemned prisoners.