October 1, 2015

Oklahoma Attorney General: “Indefinite Stay” of State Executions

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Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt Thursday filed a petition with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals seeking an “indefinite stay” of all scheduled executions, while also launching an investigation of Richard Glossip’s aborted execution.

Pruitt’s office issued a release saying he is asking that the state’s upcoming executions – Benjamin Cole, scheduled to die Wednesday, and John Grant, scheduled to die Oct. 28 – be postponed.

“The state owes it to the people of Oklahoma to ensure that, on their behalf, it can properly and lawfully administer the sentence of death imposed by juries for the most heinous crimes,” Pruitt said. “Not until shortly before the scheduled execution did the Department of Corrections notify my office that it did not obtain the necessary drugs to carry out the execution in accordance with the protocol.”

Wednesday’s last-minute stay of Glossip’s execution was issued by Gov. Mary Fallin’s office after it was discovered the Department of Corrections had the wrong drug in its three-drug execution cocktail.

Fallin issued a 37-day stay of execution in Glossip’s case.

The attorney general said his office already has begun an inquiry into the events surrounding Glossip’s would-be execution, and that his office will work quickly to learn more about this issue, though there is no certain timetable as to when the inquiry will conclude.