Corrections board okays hiring warden at Oklahoma penitentiary

STRINGTOWN, Okla. – The Oklahoma Board of Corrections has approved the hiring of a new warden at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The board on Thursday voted unanimously to approve the appointment of Mike Carpenter to the post. He has served as the prison’s interim warden since July, when previous warden Terry Royal resigned.

Carpenter will play a key role in overseeing executions, since the state’s oldest prison is also home to death row.

Oklahoma has had one of the busiest death chambers in the U.S. but put executions on hold three years ago after a series of mishaps, including a botched lethal injection in 2014.

State officials announced in March that they planned to start working on protocols for the execution of inmates using nitrogen gas.