Stay of execution denied for 5 Oklahoma death row inmates

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma judge has denied a stay of execution for five death row inmates, including Julius Jones.

Julius Jones, John Grant, Donald Grant, Wade Lay and Gilbert Postelle have filed for a preliminary injunction in relation to their executions.

During today’s hearing, attorneys for the inmates asked the judge to delay the executions due to an upcoming trial in February.

That lawsuit questions whether Oklahoma’s execution protocol is constitutional, which came up during Monday’s hearing.

The attorneys for the inmates called an assistant federal public defender from Alabama to the stand. He witnessed an execution in Alabama last week.

The witness talked about the three-drug “cocktail” used during the execution, which is the same execution protocol that Oklahoma uses.

He talked about the movements made by the inmate while the drug was being administered. He said the inmate appeared to be in pain.

The state then called an anesthesiologist to the stand. He testified that drugs often cause inmate’s to make sudden movements and it does not necessarily mean they’re in pain, essentially calling it speculation.  

Judge Stephen Friot ultimately denied all five requests.

“The district court itself has acknowledged serious questions about whether Oklahoma’s execution procedures will cause prisoners unconstitutional pain and suffering. With a trial on that very question set to begin in February, executions should not go forward. We will ask the Tenth Circuit to review the district court’s decision and stay Mr. Grant’s scheduled execution on Thursday, as well as those that are set over the coming months.”

Dale Baich, attorney for the plaintiffs

“The 10th circuit is aware that this is on its way,” Baich told News 4 in an interview Monday afternoon following the ruling.

John Grant is set to be executed Thursday, October 28.

His execution will be the first in the state since 2015.

Julius Jones’ execution date is set for November.

His clemency hearing was set for Tuesday, October 26.

However, due to today’s ruling and the expected appeal, Tom Bates with the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole Board confirms the Julius Jones clemency hearing has been moved to Monday, November 1.

Our family is relieved by the ruling made today by Judge Friot. This has been an extremely difficult process on our family and so many other homicide victims’ families. We have all waited patiently as the lengthy and thorough capital appeal process has run its course.
We are hopeful that the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board will reconsider their position after hearing the Attorney General Office’s presentation in a fair and balanced proceeding tomorrow. We are also hopeful that the Pardon and Parole Board will ask the defense to clarify their attorneys’ numerous
misrepresentations, as pointed out by the Attorney General’s Office Clemency Packet, and ask Julius Jones both meaningful and necessary questions.
We have full faith and confidence in the thoroughness and accuracy of the Attorney General Office’s Clemency Packet, which is available at www.justiceforpaulhowell.com by clicking the ‘Recent News’ button.

The Friends and Family of Paul Howell

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