Federal judge refuses to stay the executions of 5 death row inmates in Oklahoma

Protest against the death penalty before the Supreme Court on January 17, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP / Getty Images

A federal judge has refused to approve a stay of execution for five death row inmates in Oklahoma, according to The Oklahoman.

Monday’s ruling means that Oklahoma will carry out his first execution in six years on Thursday, that of John Grant, age 60, convicted of murdering Gay Carter, a prison worker, in 1998.

The other four inmates named in the request for moratorium on executions are Julius Jones (November 18th), Donald grant ( January 27th), Gilbert Postelle (February 17) and Wade lay (January 6th).

The federal district judge Stephen Friot In the western district of Oklahoma, the preliminary injunction declined despite the fact that the five prisoners were reinstated in a lawsuit challenging the protocol of lethal injection from the state earlier this month.

Dale baich, the prisoners’ attorney, said the former attorney general Mike hunter He promised not to carry out executions of the plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit while the case was pending in district court. The trial is scheduled to begin in February.

But, with the order of Federal Judge Stephen Friot, the state of Oklahoma has scheduled seven execution dates for prisoners sentenced to death. The one scheduled for Thursday would be the state’s first execution in more than six years.

In 1977, Oklahoma was the first state to adopt the lethal injection, through which an inmate is injected with a lethal mixture of drugs as the main method of carrying out executions.

“The district court itself has recognized serious doubts as to whether Oklahoma’s execution procedures will cause unconstitutional pain and suffering to prisoners,” Baich said in a statement Monday.

The governor Kevin Stitt He said that after considering the option of using nitrogen gas to carry out executions, the state has now found a “reliable supply of drugs” to resume lethal injections.

Oklahoma is one of three states (the others being Mississippi and Utah) that allow firing squads as an alternative method, although this has not been done in the state for any of its executions since 1915.

Wrong lethal injections

The protocol of lethal injection of Oklahoma came under scrutiny in 2014 when Clayton Lockett died of a heart attack amid complications during his execution.

Autopsy reports published a year later indicated that prison authorities in Oklahoma they used the wrong drug (potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride) during the process.

The same wrong medication was released to prison officials for use in the planned 2015 execution of Richard Glossip. Former Gov. Mary Ballin canceled Glossip’s execution with an indefinite stay after learning of the discrepancy.

Executions in the United States have seen changes in recent years after states began to run out of pentobarbital, an essential drug for lethal injection.

In 2011, the European Union voted to ban the sale of the drug and seven other barbiturates to the United States for use in torture or executions. Other pharmaceutical companies have steadfastly refused to sell drugs for lethal injections, and some will only sell them if your name is kept confidential.

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– Attorney General suspends federal death penalty executions until Trump-era rules are reviewed