OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – In less than 48 hours, Oklahoma will execute its first death row inmate of 2023.
In 2003, Scott Eizember was accused of killing elderly couple AJ and Patsy Cantrell. On Thursday, he’ll be executed for the crime.
This week, a legal battle ignited after the department of corrections banned Eizember’s spiritual advisor, Reverend Dr. Jeff Hood, from the execution chamber.
Hood is turning to the governor, asking for him to get involved. He delivered a handwritten letter to Governor Stitt Tuesday.
“Governor Stitt [has] proclaimed himself to be a proponent of religious liberty,” said Hood. “We are knocking on the door to see if he [will] follow through with that.”
Eizember’s attorney and Hood are suing after learning the DOC won’t let Hood in the execution chamber.
DOC told KFOR it wants to ensure the execution is carried out, citing Hood “has been arrested multiple times for outbursts in other states, demonstrating a disregard for the experiences of victims’ families.”
However, Hood, who is anti-death penalty, stated those arrests were made during peaceful protests for what he calls — basic civil disobedience.
“It’s important to say to the Department of Corrections that they could end all of this right now,” said Hood.
Hood hopes the handwritten letter to Governor Stitt will allow him to be at Eizember’s side.
“We are hoping that the governor will step in and end all this foolishness that is denying Scott Eizember his religious rights,” said Hood.