• Executed inmate’s convulsions put new spotlight on midazolam

    ARKANSAS – A lawyer for an executed Arkansas inmate called for an investigation over reports that his client convulsed during the lethal-injection process — casting fresh questions about a sedative that critics say has led to botched executions. Williams, a convicted murderer, was executed Thursday night, one of four Arkansas inmates put to death in eight days. They and death row inmates nationwide had challenged executioners’ relatively recent use of the sedative midazolam — a drug that some states started […]

  • Arkansas executes Kenneth Williams, 4th inmate in 8 days

    ARKANSAS – Arkansas executed its fourth inmate in eight days, ending a frantic schedule as the state’s supply of a sedative it uses in lethal injections expires at the end of April. Kenneth Williams, 38, initially was sentenced to life in prison for the 1998 killing of Dominique Hurd, a university cheerleader. He was later convicted of capital murder after he escaped from prison in 1999 and killed Cecil Boren. Boren’s daughter, Jodie Efird, watched Thursday night’s execution from the […]

  • 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 […]

  • Judge halts 1 of Arkansas’ 8 rushed executions

    By Meg Wagner Seven executions still scheduled A judge on Thursday halted one of the eight executions that Arkansas had planned to carry out over the course of 10 days later this month, arguing that the hasty schedule doesn’t give the governor enough time to consider granting the inmate clemency. U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall ruled that the planned April 27 execution of Jason McGehee — who was convicted in the 1996 murder of a teenage boy — should […]

  • Osage Nation voters approve redefinition of marriage

    PAWHUSKA, Okla. -The Osage Nation has voted to change the definition of marriage in an election that drew an overwhelming number of absentee ballots. The tribe will now define marriage as a union between “two persons” rather than “a man and a woman.” More than 1,100 people sent in absentee ballots but only 347 people showed up for onsite balloting during a two-day early voting period and on Monday, the actual election day. Election Board member Shannon Lockett told Tulsa […]

  • Oklahoma one of only two states that still allows inmate death by firing squad, another state seeks to be the 3rd

    Oklahoma is one of 33 states that supports the death penalty, all of which favor lethal injection for inmates sentenced to die. However, many states also have an alternative method of death in case a court intervenes with lethal injection. In 2015, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation allowing nitrogen gas to be used if a court strikes down lethal injection or if the drugs are unavailable. That move came after Oklahoma was catapulted into the national spotlight for the 2014 […]

  • Ohio executions on hold over controversial drug used in Oklahoma lethal injection protocol

    OKLAHOMA – All executions are on hold in Ohio after a federal judge ruled the state’s lethal injection process in unconstitutional. It’s all because of a controversial drug we use right here in Oklahoma. Three Ohio death row inmates sued the state, arguing the sedative Midazolam does not create a deep enough state of unconsciousness. A federal judge has ruled the “use of Midazolam will create a substantial risk of serious harm.” That’s the bar set by the U.S. Supreme […]

  • Court: Clayton Lockett execution not ‘cruel and unusual punishment’

    DENVER, Colo. – An appeals court has upheld a decision that a now-infamous 2014 execution did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. The State of Oklahoma executed Clayton Lockett for killing 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman in 1999. The resulting 43-minute procedure featured a never-before-used combination of execution drugs and went awry as Lockett awoke from his unconscious state, twitching and convulsing on the table. Lockett’s brother, Gary, sued several Oklahoma officials on the grounds that Clayton’s execution  was “prolonged, painful, and torturous,” and constituted […]

  • “The execution will be carried out in a proper, humane way,” Interim DOC director talks about changes to execution procedures

    OKLAHOMA – The temporary head of our state prison system said, if executions go forward this year, they’ll be ready. Interim DOC Director Joe Allbaugh said they’ve had two sessions practicing how an execution would happen with new procedures in place, all while DOC is still under the microscope in a grand jury investigation. It has been more than a year now since the execution of Charles Warner, who was killed by potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride. The same drug mix-up […]

  • Mother furious after finding ‘racist’ instructions on child’s toy

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A California mother is furious after she says her son’s pirate ship has racist connotations. Ida Lockett says her son was excited to receive the pirate ship set for his fifth birthday. “I spent the weekend putting it together,” she told KOVR. After putting the set together, she noticed something different about one of the characters. The dark-skinned character had no shoes and tattered pants. It also came with instructions to put some sort of neck piece on […]

  • Georgia inmate Kelly Gissendaner executed after failed appeals

    After a five-hour delay, Georgia death row inmate Kelly Gissendaner was executed early Wednesday morning for her role in the killing of her husband. Gissendaner was scheduled to die at 7 p.m. Tuesday, but her lawyers filed appeals to state and federal courts in her final hours to try to spare her life. Her children had to make a heart-wrenching choice Tuesday: go see their mother one last time, or make a final appeal in front of the Georgia Board […]