Oklahoma commission recommends death penalty moratorium, extending existing moratorium

OKLAHOMA – The Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission recommended a moratorium on the death penalty in Oklahoma on Tuesday, extending an existing moratorium.

Members of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission made the decision unanimously. The panel released its final, 300-plus page report Tuesday.

Former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry co-chaired the group. He said the volume and seriousness of flaws with the state’s system still needs reform before it can carry out the death penalty.

Th extension is one of more than 40 recommendations announced by the bipartisan group that has spent a year and a half reviewing every part of the capital punishment process, from arrest to execution.

The review began after the 2014 botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Having been sentenced to death for the 1999 shooting of Stephanie Nieman, Lockett was scheduled to die by a three-drug lethal injection cocktail on April 29, 2014, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

Thirty-three minutes after the administration of the first drug began, the execution was halted.

“The doctor checked the IV and reported the blood vein had collapsed, and the drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both,” according to a previously released timeline.

Lockett died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the execution began.

In September 2015, Governor Mary Fallin halted the execution of Richard Glossip with an eleventh hour stay.

There was a drug mix-up at the Department of Corrections, and it wasn’t the first time.

An autopsy revealed Charles Warner was put to death with a drug that’s not in our state protocol.

A scathing 106 page grand jury report revealed a series of mistakes from the governor’s office to the state pen.

Except for Texas, Oklahoma executes more inmates than any other state.

But for two years, those executions have been on hold, and 47 offenders are just sitting on death row.

This is a developing story. KFOR’s Abby Broyles will more information on the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission’s report tonight.