A look at Oklahoma’s death row procedures as state prepares for the execution of Julius Jones

Local
Julius Jones next to calendar with potential execution date

MCALESTER, Okla. (KFOR) – Oklahoma is now less than 12 hours away from executing death row inmate, Julius Jones. Here’s what preparations look like for both Jones and the Department of Corrections, according to protocol.

24 hours prior

The warden of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary will ensure final preparation of the execution area is completed.

Jones will lose phone and visitation access at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Death row inmates are allowed two hours of in-person visitation with their attorney day-of. The visit must end two hours prior to the scheduled execution or earlier if necessary to begin preparing the inmate for the execution.

Jones will receive his last meal sometime Wednesday evening.

Last meals are given between 5 and 7 p.m. the evening before the scheduled execution.

According to protocol, a “reasonable effort shall be made to accommodate the request, which shall not exceed $25.”

Penitentiary officials are required to photograph and confirm in writing the name, description, expiration date, and lot number of all execution drugs to be used.

12 hours prior

During the final 12 hours prior to the execution, access to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary is limited to:

  1. On-duty personnel;
  2. On-duty contract workers;
  3. Volunteers deemed necessary by the warden;
  4. Law enforcement personnel on business-related
    matters;
  5. Approved witnesses.

News media witnesses to the execution are limited to five representatives.

Death row inmates are allowed to request five witnesses and two clergy to attend the execution.

Any surviving victim(s) of the inmate are allowed to witness the execution. Those victims can request to have an accompanying support person, at the discretion of the agency director.

A representative from the Attorney General’s Victim Services Unit and the ODOC Victim Services team coordinator are allowed to attend the execution.

All witnesses must be 18 and older.

Restriction to the facility will remain in effect until normal operations are resumed after the execution or a stay of execution is issued.

Morning of execution

The inmate is allowed a safety ink pen and paper, religious items, a book or periodical, hygiene supplies (liquid soap, toothpaste), a toothbrush and comb in their isolated holding cell.

The inmate may be offered a mild sedative based on the inmate’s need. The sedative can provided to the inmate no later than four hours prior to the execution, unless it is determined medically necessary.

Prior to moving the inmate from the holding cell to the execution table, the agency director will confer
with the attorney general and the governor to confirm there is no legal impediment to proceeding with the execution.

Inside the execution chamber

Trained medical staff are required to make every effort to revive an inmate in the event that the inmate goes into cardiac arrest at any time prior to initiating the administration of the chemicals.

Once the inmate is restrained to the execution table and IV lines are established, witnesses will take their seats and a summary of the Warrant of Execution will be read aloud.

Authorities will then ask Jones if he wishes to make a last statement that is ‘reasonable in length and does
not contain vulgar language or intentionally offensive statements directed at the witnesses.’

The microphone will be turned off following the statement. The microphone may be turned off earlier in
the event the inmate uses vulgarity or makes intentionally offensive statements.

The lethal chemicals will then be administered.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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