death penalty

Oklahoma News
12:58 pm
Thu April 9, 2015

State Senate Approves Nitrogen Hypoxia Bill, Heads To Governor's Desk

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

The Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved a bill Thursday that adds a new execution protocol to the state’s list of approved methods. The Sooner State could be the first in the nation to use nitrogen hypoxia if the governor signs off. 

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Politics and Government
6:02 pm
Sun April 5, 2015

OCU President Criticizes Oklahoma's Execution Methods

Oklahoma has authorized four different lethal injection protocols: a single, lethal dose of either pentobarbital or sodium pentothal, a two-drug procedure using midazolam and hydromorphone, or the same three-drug method used in Florida.
Credit James Heilman, MD / Wikimedia Commons

The president of Oklahoma City University has added his name to a legal brief that criticizes Oklahoma's execution methods.

In papers filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, OCU President Robert Henry says state lawyers picked an inappropriate drug for lethal injection because they were on a tight deadline and under political pressure.

The Oklahoman reports that Henry, a former federal appeals court judge, joined the brief as former attorney general of Oklahoma from 1987 to 1991.

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Death Penalty
6:46 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Experimental Executions: State Lawmakers Consider Untested Gas Asphyxiation

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

After Oklahoma’s troubled execution last year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to review the state’s lethal injection procedures and postpone all scheduled executions

Amid the legal scrutiny and difficulty in obtaining drugs for future lethal injections, some state lawmakers are discussing a new, completely experimental method of execution.

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Oklahoma News
10:55 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Pending Supreme Court Review, Attorney General Requests Stays Of Oklahoma Executions

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt prepares to greet Gov. Mary Fallin at the 2013 State of the State address at the state Capitol.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Monday morning Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked for stays of execution for three Oklahoma death row inmates until either the U.S. Supreme Court reaches a decision in the state’s use of the controversial drug midazolam, or the Oklahoma Department of Corrections finds another drug to use in the lethal injection procedures.

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Death Penalty
1:24 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Witness, Protester Reaction To Thursday Night's Execution Of Charles Warner

Protesters with the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty rally and hold a vigil Thursday near the Governor's Mansion in Oklahoma City
Kate Carlton Greer KGOU

Oklahoma carried out its first execution Thursday night since the troubled lethal injection of an inmate in April.

Prison officials delayed Charles Warner's scheduled 6 p.m. execution while waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether to grant a stay. Justices voted 5-4 against intervening in the case of Warner, who was convicted in the 1997 rape and beating death of his roommate's 11-month-old daughter.

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Capital Punishment
3:59 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

Federal Appeals Court To Expedite Death Row Inmates' Challenge

Credit Ronny Richert / Flickr Creative Commons

With executions in Oklahoma scheduled to resume next month, a federal appeals court has agreed to an expedited timeline in a case of death row inmates challenging the state's lethal injection method.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ordered attorneys for the inmates to file a brief in the case by Wednesday. The state's response is due Jan. 6.

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Death Penalty
10:28 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Q&A: States' Use Of Execution Drugs Varies Widely

Oklahoma has authorized four different lethal injection protocols: a single, lethal dose of either pentobarbital or sodium pentothal, a two-drug procedure using midazolam and hydromorphone, or the same three-drug method used in Florida.
Credit James Heilman, MD / Wikimedia Commons

Problematic executions in Oklahoma, Arizona and other states have highlighted a patchwork approach states are taking with lethal drugs, with types, combinations and dosages varying widely.

Arizona announced Monday that it was switching from the two-drug method that led to a nearly two-hour execution earlier this year, while a federal judge in Oklahoma upheld the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol, which was adjusted recently after a botched execution in the spring.

How did the disparities in drugs come about after more than three decades in which all death penalty states used the exact same mixture?

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Oklahoma Executions
1:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Federal Judge Hears Testimony On Lethal Injection Challenge

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution says he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious.

A pathologist hired by the inmate's lawyer told a federal judge Wednesday that recently released witness statements corroborate his belief that Clayton Lockett was conscious when given drugs to stop his heart and breathing. A witness for the state said it didn't appear Lockett was uncomfortable or suffering.

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Death Penalty
9:52 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Hearing Set On Media Access To Oklahoma Executions

The main gate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla.
Credit duggar11 / Flickr

A federal judge is expected to hear arguments from attorneys for a group of journalists and news organizations who want to prevent the state from restricting media access to executions.

Arguments are scheduled before a judge Thursday in Oklahoma City.

The Oklahoma Observer and Guardian US newspapers, along with two journalists, are asking a federal judge to ensure that media witness are able to view the execution of a condemned inmate from start to finish.

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Death Penalty
11:12 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Judge Seals Part Of Oklahoma Execution Lawsuit

Credit Oklahoma Department of Corrections

A federal judge has sealed some documents in a lawsuit filed by the brother of an Oklahoma inmate whose execution led to a revamp of the state's lethal injection protocols.  

U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton sealed part of the case file this week in the lawsuit filed by Gary Lockett, who's the brother of Clayton Lockett.

The documents were sealed at the request of Attorney General Scott Pruitt's office, which argued that the filings improperly revealed the name of a person who may have been on the execution team.

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