Federal court denies Oklahoma death row inmates’ requests to block executions

Federal Executions Lethal Injections Q&A

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A federal court in Oklahoma City has denied two death row inmates’ requests to block their executions.

Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle asked the court for an injunction to delay their executions following ‘issues’ with John Marion Grant’s execution in October.

The plaintiffs argue that since the state is relying on midazolam as part of the lethal injection, they are at risk of “severe pain and suffering.”

The motion urged the court to grant an injunction so the inmates are not executed before the trial on the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s execution protocol. That trial is expected to begin on Feb. 28.

In court documents, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma revisited details about John Grant’s execution, saying his actions prior to the execution led to some of the ‘mishaps.’

“The main difference between the Grant execution and the Stouffer execution is that Grant consumed significant quantities of Mr. Pibb and potato chips until very shortly before the restraint team arrived to take him from his cell to the execution chamber,” the documents stated.

As a result, the court says Grant began regurgitating after the first drug was pushed into his IV line.

“It is sufficient to say here that a prisoner who challenges the state’s method of execution must show that the state’s method presents ‘a substantial risk of severe pain,'” the court ruled. “A method of execution that presents a ‘substantial risk’ is one that ‘is sure or very likely to cause serious illness and needless suffering.’ Messrs. Grant and Postelle have not made that showing.”

Donald Grant’s execution is set for Jan. 27, while Gilbert Postelle’s execution is scheduled for Feb. 1

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