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lethal injection

State Officials Say Oklahoma Is On Track To Resume Executions

Oct 16, 2020

Executions by lethal injection are usually carried out in six to 12 minutes.  

On April 29, 2014, it took 43 minutes for Clayton Lockett to die. 

Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General Mike Hunter and Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow say new rules will prevent mistakes during future executions.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s a possibility state supplies of sedatives, paralytics and other drugs could be useful in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

Members of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, including former Oklahoma governor Brad Henry, gave a press conference Tuesday.
Claire Donnelly / KGOU

A bipartisan group of Oklahomans is urging the state to keep its temporary ban on the death penalty.

 

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.

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.  

Oklahoma death row inmates Jeremy Williams (left) and Richard Fairchild (right).
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Two death row inmates have exhausted their appeals, but won’t have execution dates set just yet as Oklahoma continues investigating what went wrong during two executions attempted in 2015.

On Friday the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued an order for stays of execution for Jeremy Williams and Richard Fairchild. The Court released that document to the public Monday.

Death penalty opponent Sister Helen Prejean on the phone with Richard Glossip shortly after his Sept. 30, 2015 execution was stayed.
Graham Lee Brewer / The Oklahoman

Attorney General Scott Pruitt agreed Friday to indefinitely stay the scheduled executions of three death row inmates until the completion of a grand jury investigation into the Department of Correction’s lethal injection process. The agreement was reached between the attorneys representing inmates on Oklahoma’s death row in the case, Glossip v. Gross.

 

Charles Frederick Warner
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Autopsy records show Oklahoma death row inmate Charles Warner received the wrong drug during his January lethal injection.

Attorney Don Knight on the phone with Richard Glossip outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin has issued a 37-day stay of execution to Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip because of concerns the state doesn't have the right drugs for the lethal injection.

Sister Helen Prejean and actress Susan Sarandon appearing on the August 31 episode of "The Dr. Phil Show."
Facebook

A Hollywood actress spoke to a nationwide audience Monday on behalf of an Oklahoma death row inmate.

Susan Sarandon appeared on The Dr. Phil Show and urged Gov. Mary Fallin to issue a 60-day stay for Richard Glossip.

The Oklahoma inmate was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1997 death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese, and is scheduled to die September 16.

Sister Helen Prejean at the Voices of Hope conference held in the Galway Bay Hotel in Galway, Ireland October 25-26, 2013.
Irish Jesuits / Flickr

Updated August 11, 6:11 a.m.

Gov. Mary Fallin plans to move forward with the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip despite calls for a stay of execution from death penalty opponents.

The governor said Monday two juries convicted Richard Glossip of murder and sentenced him to death, and that decision was reviewed and upheld by several courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Eugene Glossip
Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Lawyers for an Oklahoma death row inmate are searching for ways to exonerate a man scheduled to die in September. The execution will be the first after the Supreme Court’s ruling that upheld the use of the controversial drug midazolam. 

Richard Glossip has maintained his innocence since he was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1997 death of Oklahoma City motel owner Barry Van Treese.

Supreme Court
Mark Fischer / Flickr

The end of June was a busy few days for both the state and federal judiciary. As the U.S. Supreme Court wound down its term, opinions in some of the widest-reaching cases came in the final few days.

But a lot of the reasons behind all of this began years ago.

Death Penalty Dispute

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.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued the last of its opinions for this term — on the death penalty, anti-pollution regulations and the power of independent commissions to draw congressional and state legislative districts. In addition, the court issued a set of orders that set up cases to be heard next term on affirmative action and abortion.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a major blow to death penalty opponents, upholding the use of a controversial drug as part of a three-drug execution cocktail. The vote was 5-4, with unusually passionate and sometimes bitter opinions from the majority and dissenting justices.

Supreme Court Upholds Use Of Execution Drug

Jun 29, 2015

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial execution drug.

The case was brought by a group of Oklahoma inmates who argued that a drug used by the state constituted cruel and unusual punishment because it did not guarantee that prisoners would be unconscious when additional drugs were administered to stop their hearts.

The drug was used in three botched executions last year that appeared to leave prisoners in excruciating pain. The court ruled that the Oklahoma prisoners did not prove that a better drug was available.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt admitted Wednesday his office incorrectly cited documents in a brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court ahead of the lethal injection case. Spokesman Aaron Cooper says the error was "inadvertent."

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