Stay of execution denied for death row inmate Bigler Stouffer

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A request for a stay of execution made by death row inmate Bigler Stouffer ahead of his December 9 execution has been denied by a federal judge.

“The judge denied our request to have Mr. Stouffer treated like all of the other individuals in the Glossip case,” Greg Laird, attorney for death row inmate Bigler Stouffer, said.

image of inmate

Stouffer’s request for a stay of execution, meaning it would be put on hold, was denied by a federal judge on Tuesday morning.

“He is not, based on that ruling, will not get his day in court,” Laird said.

That’s because Stouffer is not part of an upcoming trial in February challenging whether Oklahoma’s execution protocol is constitutional.

“Judge Friot in 2014, when Mr. Stouffer asked to be a part of it prose, said he was not allowed to enter at that time. When the execution dates were set, he was not in that case. So we filed this proceeding,” Laird said.

The controversy surrounds the first drug in Oklahoma’s three-drug lethal injection cocktail, Midazolam.

Media witnesses who watched the execution of John Marion Grant on October 28 described violent vomiting and convulsing after Midazolam was administered.

John Grant
John Grant

However, during testimony in federal court on Monday, the state called an anesthesiologist, Dr. Ervin Yen, who is running for Governor, to the stand.

Dr. Yen witnessed Grant’s execution. He used the word regurgitating instead of vomiting and blamed it on a full stomach that Grant likely had from his last meal that morning and snacks that were available to him in his cell throughout the day.

Instead of convulsing, he said Grant’s body was “rocking,” which is a normal reaction to the drug, adding that Midazolam would not cause the inmate pain.

Ultimately, the judge decided it is not a “cruel” punishment or painful for the inmate.

“We will be appealing this to the 10th Circuit [Court of Appeals] and expect and hope for different results in that matter,” Laird said.

That appeal has now been filed.

Stouffer also still has a chance at clemency.

He was convicted of killing Putnam City school teacher Linda Reaves in 1985.

During his clemency hearing last week, Stouffer’s defense said the state had no physical evidence pointing to Stouffer without one eye witness testimony.

The state argued Stouffer has changed his story multiple times.

He has maintained his innocence all these years.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole board voted 3-2 to recommend commuting his sentence to life without the possibility of parole.

That recommendation is still on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s desk. He will make the final decision.

“I hope that he will look at this case, see that Mr. Stouffer has maintained his innocence,” Laird said.

Stitt has said he will not be commenting until he has made his decision.

Stouffer’s execution is scheduled for December 9.

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