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Once busy Oklahoma death chamber stays quiet into 3rd year

Credit: CNN

OKLAHOMA CITY – A state with one of the busiest death chambers in the country in recent decades, Oklahoma will enter its third year without an execution in 2018 while prison officials and state attorneys fine tune its procedure for putting condemned inmates to death.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said last week he was meeting with top prison officials and expects more clarity on new lethal injection protocols “in the next two or three weeks.”

Gov. Mary Fallin said she has confidence in Hunter and Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh to develop new protocols, but acknowledged the challenge the state faces in acquiring the lethal drugs.

Oklahoma hasn’t carried out a lethal injection since 2015, and since then 16 death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are awaiting execution dates.