Oklahoma carries out first execution since 2015 with the death of John Grant following Supreme Court ruling


Update 10/28, 4:28 p.m. – John Grant has been executed by the state of Oklahoma. His time of death is 4:21 p.m. on Thursday, October 28.

According to witnesses of the execution, Grant’s final words were “Let’s go,” followed by a few expletives.

Witnesses say Grant convulsed about two-dozen times as well as vomited following the injection of midazolam.

Original Story:

MCALESTER, Okla. (KFOR) – The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a stay of executions for death row inmates Julius Jones and John Grant.

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on AG John O’Connor’s appeal, asking the court to vacate a stay of executions for death row inmates Julius Jones and John Grant that was issued by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Ultimately, they ruled in O’Connor’s favor.

Grant is scheduled to be executed at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Grant was convicted in the 1998 murder of Gay Carter, a kitchen supervisor at the Dick Conner Correctional Center, where he was incarcerated at due to several robbery convictions.

Court documents say that Grant stabbed Carter 16 times inside a broom closet.

Photo goes with story
Gay Carter

On Wednesday afternoon, the 10th circuit granted the stay of executions for only Grant and Jones after the attorneys of five death row inmates filed an appeal to a decision to deny a stay, made by a federal judge during a hearing on Monday.

At a trial in February, the inmates’ attorneys will be challenging whether Oklahoma’s execution protocol, a three-drug cocktail, is constitutional. They argued in court on Monday that there was an agreement with former AG Mike Hunter not to executions before that trial.

Late Wednesday evening, O’Connor filed an appeal to the 10th circuit decision and then early Thursday morning, attorneys for the inmates responded in opposition.

In their filing, the attorneys wrote “The public will be ill-served if respondents are executed before being given a full opportunity to test the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s execution protocol.”

Ultimately, the Supreme Court vacated the stay.

Grant will be the first person to be executed in Oklahoma since 2015 when executions were put on hold.

“Executions will go forward in Oklahoma despite significant questions regarding the constitutionality of the state’s execution protocol. The district court ordered a trial to determine whether the protocol creates an unconstitutional risk of excessive pain and suffering, yet the Supreme Court will allow Oklahoma to execute Mr. Grant with that protocol.”

Dale Baich, attorney for plaintiffs

Why executions in Oklahoma were put on hold:

In 2014, the State of Oklahoma executed Clayton Lockett for killing 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman in 1999.

The resulting 43-minute procedure featured a never-before-used combination of execution drugs and went awry as Lockett awoke from his unconscious state, and began twitching and convulsing on the table.

Clayton Lockett
Clayton Lockett

“The doctor checked the IV and reported the blood vein had collapsed, and the drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both,” according to a previously released timeline.

Lockett died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the execution began.

In 2015, Charles Warner was put to death for the rape and murder of 11-month-old Adrianna Walker in 1997.

Before the three-drug cocktail was administered, Warner was heard saying, “It feels like acid,” and “My body is on fire.”

Charles Warner
Charles Warner

An autopsy report says that officials used potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride to kill Warner.

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