Panel Urges Continued Ban on Oklahoma Death Penalty

April 25, 2017
By David Lee

OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – A bipartisan commission unanimously recommended Tuesday that Oklahoma continue with its two-year-old moratorium on the death penalty, citing “disturbing” findings that had its members question if executions of innocent people are prevented.

Headed by former Gov. Brad Henry, the 11-member Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission was formed shortly after current Gov. Mary Fallin stayed the execution of Richard Glossip in October 2015. She halted all executions after prison officials discovered they had the wrong execution drugs. They received potassium acetate as part of the state’s new, replacement three-drug execution protocol, but potassium chloride was supposed to be used.

States were forced in recent years to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after death-penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making execution drugs.

“The Commission did not come to this decision lightly,” the 294-page report states. “Due to the volume and seriousness of the flaws in Oklahoma’s capital punishment system, Commission members recommend that the moratorium on executions be extended until significant reforms are accomplished.”

The commission cites the U.S. Supreme Court’s emphasis of the death penalty being for the “worst of the worst” criminals.

“Unfortunately, a review of the evidence demonstrates that the death penalty, even in Oklahoma, has not always been imposed and carried out fairly, consistently, and humanely, as required by the federal and state constitutions,” the report states. “These shortcomings have severe consequences for the accused and their families, for victims and their families, and for all citizens of Oklahoma.”

The report makes sweeping recommendations at every stage of the criminal justice system: from evidence gathering to the role of the judiciary to the roles of defense attorneys and prosecutors. It recommends amendments to the Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions to direct jurors to consider expert testimony on “the limitations and use of eyewitness testimony” in death penalty cases.

It recommends police use “double-blind” procedures when conducting photograph or live lineups. The commission further suggests more training of police, prosecutors and defense attorneys on the limitations of eyewitness identification in such cases. It recommends the Oklahoma Bar Association provide more training to defense, trial and appellate attorneys to handle the “unique demands” of capital cases.

In a press conference at the Oklahoma Capitol, commission members said there were “significant differences” of opinion among commission members as to the validity of the death penalty itself, but that the recommendation to continue the moratorium was unanimous.

Henry said the “obvious answer” as to why the death penalty is so flawed is because of a lack of resources, that attorneys for indigent defendants have overwhelming case loads and do not have the money for investigators or expert witnesses.

Henry told reporters it was likely Oklahoma had executed an innocent person, alluding to several exonerations since the death penalty was reinstated four decades ago.

Death-row inmates Glossip and Benjamin Cole had sued the state in 2014, arguing the first drug in Oklahoma’s execution protocol, midazolam, fails to render a person insensate to pain in violation of the Eighth Amendment. They sued after the gruesome, botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014.

Lockett was declared unconscious after being injected with midazolam, but breathed heavily, writhed, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head off a pillow three minutes later. Medical team members told investigators the death chamber was a “bloody mess” due to difficulty tapping a second femoral intravenous line to inject the drugs and that “blood squirted up and got all over” a doctor.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton ordered the execution stopped, but it took Lockett 43 minutes to die of a heart attack anyway. Prison officials later blamed the botched execution on the first intravenous line in Lockett’s groin being placed incorrectly and then covered with a sheet.

Further doubt was cast on future executions when it was revealed in October 2015 that potassium acetate was incorrectly used in the execution of Charles Warner, who said “my body is on fire” as he was injected.

An Oklahoma grand jury in May 2016 declined to charge state officials over the error in Warner’s execution, but criticized them for being “careless” in using the wrong drugs. It also recommended the state look into using nitrogen gas to executed inmates in the future.

From Courthouse News.

Grand Jury Lashes Okla. On Botched Execution

May 20, 2016
By David Lee
OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – An Oklahoma grand jury declined to charge state officials for last year’s botched execution of Charles Warner, but criticized them for being “careless” in using the wrong drugs and recommended that the state kill people with nitrogen gas.
In the report released Thursday evening, the multicounty grand jury called out officials from Gov. Mary Fallin’s office down to members of the execution team.
“The Director of the Department of Corrections orally modified the execution protocol without authority,” the 106-page report states. “The pharmacist ordered the wrong execution drugs, the department’s general counsel failed to inventory the execution drugs as mandated by state purchasing requirements.”
States have been forced to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after death penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making the drugs. One week ago Pfizer, the last major source of execution drugs, announced that it would no longer supply drugs for executions.
Oklahoma used the wrong drugs in January 2015 to kill Warner, a child-killer. The state’s execution protocol required potassium chloride to stop the heart, not the potassium acetate that was used.
Warner said his body was “on fire” and he twitched from his neck three minutes after the injection began, for seven minutes until he stopped breathing, witnesses said. He died after 18 minutes.
Warner’s was the first execution after the grisly botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014.
Witnesses said Lockett writhed in apparent agony, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head after being injected with the replacement drugs. Prison officials tried to stop the execution at 20 minutes after running out of drugs.
Execution team members told state investigators that the execution chamber was a gruesome “bloody mess” due to attempts to tap a second femoral intravenous line in Lockett’s groin.
Fallin stopped the execution of Richard Glossip eight months after Warner’s execution, when it was discovered the wrong drugs were to be used again.
The grand jury report says that Fallin’s former general counsel, Steve Mullins, recommended that Glossip be executed using potassium acetate. Mullins resigned in February.
The report cites a conversation Mullins had with Deputy Attorney General Jennifer Mullins to dissuade her from filing a motion to stay the execution.
“During this conversation, the governor’s general counsel stated potassium chloride and potassium acetate were basically one in the same drug, advising Deputy Attorney General Miller to ‘Google it,'” the report states.
“The governor’s general counsel also told Deputy Attorney General Miller that filing a motion to stay would look bad for the State of Oklahoma because potassium acetate had already been used in Warner’s execution.”
To avoid such confusion, the report recommends the state hire experts to explore executions by nitrogen hypoxia. The grand jury heard testimony that such executions “would be humane” and that the components needed would be “easy and inexpensive” to get.
“The scientific research regarding nitrogen hypoxia has shown this method of execution would be quick and seemingly painless,” the report states. “In addition to scientific research, Professor A explained that high-altitude pilots who train to recognize the symptoms of nitrogen hypoxia in airplane depressurizations do not report any feelings of suffocation, choking, or gagging. Doctor A testified that a person in a nitrogen-induced hypoxic state would lose consciousness quickly, and the heart would cease to beat within a few minutes. At present, however, no state has implemented the death penalty through nitrogen hypoxia, although it is an approved method of execution in Oklahoma.”
The grand jury report was requested by Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who said, “This must never happen again.”
“Today, I regret to advise the citizens of Oklahoma that the Department of Corrections failed to do its job,” Pruitt said in a statement. “As is evident in the report from the multicounty grand jury, a number of individuals responsible for carrying out the execution process were careless, cavalier and in some circumstances dismissive of established procedures that were intended to guard against the very mistakes that occurred.”
Pruitt said he will work with Fallin and the Legislature to study the nitrogen hypoxia recommendation.

From Courthouse News.

Oklahoma Cuts Deal to Hold Off on Inmates’ Executions

October 16, 2015
By David Lee
OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – Oklahoma cut a deal with three death row inmates to delay their executions into 2016 while officials investigate why the wrong drug was provided for the halted execution of Richard Glossip.
Glossip, James Coddington and Benjamin Cole sued the state in Oklahoma City Federal Court last year, claiming the use of midazolam – the first drug in a new three-drug replacement protocol – fails to render a person insensate to pain, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
Oklahoma changed its execution drug protocol after the botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett, 38, in April 2014. Lockett was declared unconscious after being injected with midazolam but breathed heavily, writhed, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head off a pillow three minutes later.
A failed attempt to tap a vein in Lockett’s groin resulted in blood gruesomely spraying the execution chamber. Blinds separating a viewing gallery and the chamber were lowered and Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton ordered the execution stopped. It took Lockett 43 minutes to finally die of a heart attack.
Several states have been forced to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after anti-death penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making lethal injection drugs.
Glossip was most recently scheduled to die on Sept. 30, when Gov. Mary Fallin abruptly halted the execution with minutes to spare after prison officials discovered they had incorrectly received potassium acetate as the third drug in the state’s three-drug execution protocol instead of potassium chloride. Attorney General Scott Pruitt immediately launched in an inquiry into the mishap.
In light of the investigation, Pruitt asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Oct. 1 to halt all pending executions. On Friday, the inmates’ attorneys agreed to administratively end their lawsuit in exchange for the state putting off their executions into next year.
Pruitt said his office is conducting a “full and thorough investigation into all aspects” of prison officials’ handling of the executions.
“My office does not plan to ask the court to set an execution date until the conclusion of its investigation,” he said in a statement Friday. “This makes it unnecessary at this time to litigate the legal questions at issue in Glossip v. Gross.”
Under the deal, the state agrees not to seek execution dates without informing the inmates of any conducted investigations and without providing notice that prison officials will be able to expressly comply with the execution protocol. Oklahoma also agreed not to seek execution dates until at least 150 days after the inmates are provided such information.
The inmates will then have 30 days after moving to reopen their lawsuit by filing a second amended complaint.
Glossip’s attorney, federal public defender Dale A. Baich in Phoenix, said Friday he expects Pruitt’s investigation “will take some time.”

From Courthouse News.

Report: Oklahoma Used Wrong Drug to Kill Man

October 12, 2015
By David Lee
OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin expressed frustration and doubt about the future of executions in her state after the disclosure that an incorrect drug was used to kill child-killer Charles Warner.
The Oklahoman reported on Oct. 8 that bottles labeled potassium acetate were incorrectly used in the state’s three-drug cocktail to kill Warner in January. The state’s execution protocol requires that potassium chloride be used third to stop the heart.
Warner showed no obvious signs of distress as the first drug was administered, but said, ” My body is on fire.”
Witnesses said Warner twitched from his neck 3 minutes after the injection began, lasting for seven minutes until he stopped breathing. He died after 18 minutes.
The incorrect third drug was provided to prison officials again for the Sept. 30 execution of Richard Glossip. The error was discovered before the execution, and Fallin stayed the execution with minutes to spare. Attorney General Scott Pruitt investigated and quickly asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to halt three pending executions .
“During the discussion of the delay of the execution, it became apparent that Department of Corrections may have used potassium acetate in the execution of Charles Warner in January of this year,” Fallin said at an Oct. 8 news conference. “I was not aware, nor was anyone in my office aware of the possibility, until the day of Richard Glossip’s scheduled execution.”
Fallin said the pharmacy that provided the potassium acetate assured prison officials that it is medically interchangeable with the approved potassium chloride. But she sided with Pruitt’s request to stop executions until his investigation is complete.
“The attorney general, the Department of Corrections and my office will work cooperatively to address these issues,” Fallin said. “Until we have complete confidence in the system, we will delay any further executions.”
States have been forced to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after death penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making the drugs.
Warner unsuccessfully argued in Federal Court that the state’s replacement three-drug execution protocol would subject him to unconstitutional pain and suffering.
Oklahoma officials updated the execution protocol in September 2014, greatly increasing the dose of midazolam. The change came after Fallin ordered an investigation of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April 2014.
Witnesses said Lockett writhed in apparent agony, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head after being injected with the replacement drugs. Prison officials tried to stop the execution at 20 minutes after running out of execution drugs. Execution team members told state investigators that the execution chamber was a gruesome “bloody mess” due to attempts to tap a second femoral intravenous line in Lockett’s groin.
Glossip’s attorney, federal defender Dale Baich, blasted the latest revelations, saying Oklahoma cannot be trusted to “get it right” or be truthful.
“The state’s disclosure that it used potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride during the execution of Charles Warner yet again raises serious questions about the ability of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to carry out executions,” Baich said. “The execution logs for Charles Warner say that he was administered potassium chloride, but now the state says potassium acetate was used.”
The execution logs state Warner was given drugs from syringes labeled potassium chloride, according to media reports. This contradicts the autopsy report, which indicates the syringes contained potassium acetate.

From Courthouse News.

Execution Drug Error Prompts More Execution Stays in Oklahoma

October 1, 2015
By David Lee
OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – One day after Oklahoma’s abrupt halt of Richard Glossip’s execution due to the discovery of incorrect drugs, the state has asked to indefinitely halt all executions until the mistake is straightened out.
Gov. Mary Fallin stayed Glossip’s execution until Nov. 6 after prison officials received potassium acetate as the third drug in the state’s three-drug execution protocol – potassium chloride is usually used.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday he has launched an inquiry into the mishap.
“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,” he said in a statement. “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. Until my office knows more about these circumstances and gains confidence that DOC can carry out executions in accordance with the execution protocol, I am asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to issue an indefinite stay of all scheduled executions.”
Pruitt said he is “mindful” of the suffering of victim’s families in the cases and his heart “breaks” for them.
“Yet they deserve to know, and all Oklahomans need to know with certainty, that the system is working as intended,” he said.
Filed with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday, the two-page request to stay all executions said time is needed to evaluate a drug being provided that was contrary to both protocol and prison officials’ internal protocol procedures.
“The state has a strong interest in ensuring that the execution protocol is strictly followed,” the filing said.
Pruitt is asking the court to halt Glossip’s Nov. 6 execution, Benjamin Cole’s Oct. 7 execution and John Grant’s Oct. 28 execution. execution. Oklahoma’s execution protocol is key because Glossip and three other death row inmates sued the state last year, claiming its use of midazolam – the first drug in a new three-drug replacement protocol – fails to render a person insensate to pain, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
States have been forced to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after anti-death penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making lethal injection drugs.
Oklahoma’s previous protocol required pentobarbital to knock the inmate unconscious, vecuronium to stop breathing and potassium chloride to stop the heart.
Glossip’s lawsuit was filed after the botched execution of murderer Clayton Lockett, 38, in April 2014.
Lockett was declared unconscious after being injected with midazolam, but breathed heavily, writhed, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head off a pillow three minutes later. Blinds separating a viewing gallery and the death chamber were lowered and Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton ordered the execution stopped.
It took Lockett 43 minutes to die of a heart attack.
In a 5-4 ruling on June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the new execution protocol and Oklahoma quickly rescheduled four executions, including Glossip’s. The high court said the inmates failed “to identify a known and available alternative method of execution that entails a lesser risk of pain.”

From Courthouse News.

Oklahoma Inmate’s Execution Again Stalled at 11th Hour

September 30, 2015
By David Lee
OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – Bowing to intense pressure from anti-death penalty activists and Pope Francis, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin halted the execution of convicted murdered Richard Glossip at the last minute over concerns about the execution drug.
Glossip was scheduled to die at 3 p.m. Wednesday for hiring a man to murder his employer, Barry Allan Van Treese, in 1997. Glossip has always insisted he is innocent.
Fallin halted the execution after prison officials received potassium acetate as the third drug in the state’s three-drug execution protocol – potassium chloride is usually used.
“This stay will give the Department of Corrections and its attorneys the opportunity to determine whether potassium acetate is compliant with the execution protocol and/or to obtain potassium chloride,” the one-page order states. “The execution of Richard Eugene Glossip is therefore scheduled for Friday, November 6, 2015.”
Fallin has faced harsh criticism for several months for refusing to stop Glossip’s execution. Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon called the governor a “horrible person” in August for refusing to intervene.
Fallin’s spokesman Alex Weintz fired back, saying at the time the governor does not have the ability to grant Glossip clemency.
“The limit of her legal ability to intervene is to grant a 60 day stay,” Weintz tweeted. “The gov[ernor] can only grant clemency [to] inmates who have been recommended clemency by the Pardon and Parole Board. Glossip’s request was unanimously denied … To say Glossip has had his day in court is an understatement. He has been pursuing the same arguments publicly and in court for 20 years. He was convicted of murder in court twice and sentenced to death twice by two juries (24 total jurors unanimous in their verdict).”
Even if Fallin could grant clemency, doing so would “unilaterally overturn” the judgments of jurors and several courts, including the 10th Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, Weintz said.
Fallin’s change of mind came after the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals declined Monday to halt the execution for a second time. It stopped the execution scheduled for Sept. 16 to consider new, last-ditch evidence of guilt filed by Glossip’s attorneys.
Glossip claimed hit man and star prosecution witness Justin Sneed allegedly bragged to other inmates that he set Glossip up.
“Sneed has bragged that, in order to escape the death penalty, he lied about Mr. Glossip’s involvement in the case and that Mr. Glossip was not involved,” the filing stated. “He also stated he wishes to recant but fears getting the death penalty himself.”
Glossip’s attorneys said Sneed killed Van Treese by himself, that he was “desperate” for drugs.
“Justin Sneed, contrary to the meek youngster he was portrayed to be at trial, was a severe, thieving methamphetamine addict,” the filing stated. “He stole guns and other personal belongings out of cars in the parking lot of the motel where the crime occurred – and out of occupied motel rooms – and traded what he stole for methamphetamine.”
Glossip’s attorneys argued their client “would be acquitted at trial today” in light of the new evidence.
Minutes before Fallin’s order stopped the execution, the U.S. Supreme Court declined Glossip’s application for stay. Seemingly resigned to his fate, Glossip said he was “happy to be alive” but prepared for death.
“I don’t want to be a martyr and I don’t want to die,” Glossip said in a statement. “Believe me, I want to live, but if my death would stop anyone else from having to go through what I went through for 18 years, I’d be more than happy to die for them.”
Glossip and three other death row inmates sued Oklahoma last year, claiming its use of midazolam – the first drug in a new three-drug replacement protocol – fails to render a person insensate to pain, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
States have been forced to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after anti-death penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making lethal injection drugs. Oklahoma’s previous protocol required pentobarbital to knock the inmate unconscious, vecuronium to stop breathing and potassium chloride to stop the heart.
Glossip’s lawsuit was filed after the botched execution of murderer Clayton Lockett, 38, in April 2014. He was declared unconscious after being injected with midazolam, but breathed heavily, writhed, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head off a pillow three minutes later. Blinds separating a viewing gallery and the death chamber were lowered and Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton ordered the execution stopped.
It took Lockett 43 minutes to die of a heart attack.
In a 5-4 ruling on June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the new execution protocol and Oklahoma quickly rescheduled four executions, including Glossip’s. The high court said the inmates failed “to identify a known and available alternative method of execution that entails a lesser risk of pain.”

From Courthouse News.

Oklahoma Execution Stalled by 11th-Hour Reprieve

September 16, 2015
By David Lee
OKLAHOMA CITY (CN) – Just hours before his execution, convicted murderer Richard Glossip won a two-week reprieve by an Oklahoma appellate court as it examines new evidence in his case.
Glossip was scheduled to die by lethal injection Wednesday afternoon for hiring a man to murder his employer, Barry Allan Van Treese, in 1997. Glossip has always maintained his innocence.
Anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean and Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon have publicly called on Gov. Mary Fallin to halt the execution over questions over Glossip’s guilt.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued an emergency stay of execution on Wednesday that will expire on Sept. 30. The court said it needed the time to give “fair consideration” to a last-ditch request for stay by Glossip’s attorneys late Tuesday.
In the filing, Glossip cites new evidence that purported hit man and star prosecution witness Justin Sneed allegedly bragged to other inmates that he set Glossip up.
“Sneed has bragged that, in order to escape the death penalty, he lied about Mr. Glossip’s involvement in the case and that Mr. Glossip was not involved,” the filing says. “He also stated he wishes to recant but fears getting the death penalty himself.”
Glossip’s attorneys said Sneed killed Van Treese by himself, that he was “desperate” for drugs.
“Justin Sneed, contrary to the meek youngster he was portrayed to be at trial, was a severe, thieving methamphetamine addict,” the filing says. “He stole guns and other personal belongings out of cars in the parking lot of the motel where the crime occurred – and out of occupied motel rooms – and traded what he stole for methamphetamine.”
Glossip’s attorneys contend their client “would be acquitted at trial today” in light of the new evidence.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt expressed his disappointment in the stay of execution. Van Treese’s family “has waited 18 agonizing years for justice,” he said.
“The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals indicated it needs more time to review the filings,” Pruitt said in a statement Wednesday. “I’m confident that the Court of Criminal Appeals, after reviewing the filings, will conclude there is nothing worthy which would lead the court to overturn a verdict reached by two juries who both found Glossip guilty and sentenced him to death for [Barry] Van Treese’s murder.”
Fallin has steadfastly refused calls to grant Glossip clemency. She responded to Sarandon and several media inquiries in August by saying she was only authorized under the law to grant a 60-day stay.
“The governor can only grant clemency to inmates who have been recommended clemency by the pardon and parole board,” spokesman Alex Weintz said at the time. “Glossip’s request was unanimously denied … To say Glossip has had his day in court is an understatement. He has been pursuing the same arguments publicly and in court for 20 years. He was convicted of murder in court twice and sentenced to death twice by two juries (24 total jurors unanimous in their verdict).”
Even if Fallin could grant clemency, doing so would “unilaterally overturn” the judgments of jurors and several courts, including the 10th Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court, Weintz said.
“Glossip’s execution is going forward because he is (a) guilty and (b) has exhausted his legal options,” he said. “Final thought: there are multiple victims here, none of them Glossip. A man beaten to death, wife without a husband, five kids with no dad.”
Fallin again refused to stay Glossip’s execution on Tuesday, citing “no credible evidence” of the man’s innocence.
Immediately after the emergency stay of execution was granted, Fallin said “court is the proper place” for Glossip to argue the merits of his case.
“My office will respect whatever decision the court makes, as we have throughout this process” she said in a statement Wednesday. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the Van Treese family who have suffered greatly during this long ordeal.”
Glossip has also expressed his fear of a painful execution through Oklahoma’s use of a controversial three-drug replacement execution cocktail. He and three other death row inmates sued Oklahoma last year, claiming its use of midazolam – the first drug in a new three-drug replacement protocol – fails to render a person insensate to pain, in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
States have been forced to seek replacement execution drugs from compounding pharmacies after anti-death penalty opponents persuaded large drug manufacturers to stop making lethal injection drugs. Oklahoma’s previous protocol required pentobarbital to knock the inmate unconscious, vecuronium to stop breathing and potassium chloride to stop the heart.
Glossip’s lawsuit was filed after the botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett, 38, in April 2014. Lockett was declared unconscious after being injected with midazolam, but breathed heavily, writhed, clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head off a pillow three minutes later.
Blinds separating a viewing gallery and the death chamber were lowered and Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton ordered the execution stopped. It took Lockett 43 minutes to die of a heart attack.
In a 5-4 ruling on June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the new execution protocol. The high court said the inmates failed “to identify a known and available alternative method of execution that entails a lesser risk of pain.”
Oklahoma wasted no time after the high court ruling, and scheduled four executions – including Glossip’s.

From Courthouse News.