UPDATE 4/25 – Two convicted murders are scheduled to be executed on the same day.
Today the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced they would execute Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner on April 29.
Warner’s execution will take place at 6:00 p.m. and Lockett’s will be at 8:00 p.m.
This announcement comes after the state Supreme Court dissolved the inmates stay of execution Wednesday night.
Warner’s attorney, Madeline Cohen, is not pleased with the court’s decision.
“Oklahoma intends to carry out the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner with drugs of unknown origin. Since mid-March, the State has repeatedly changed its plans for executions and the type of drugs it intends to use in executions, while shielding the source of its lethal drugs behind a wall of secrecy.” said Cohen. “It is unconscionable that these executions will take place while so many questions remain unanswered. Without complete transparency, there is no way to ensure that the executions will be constitutional.”
OKLAHOMA CITY – The state Supreme Court dissolved the stay of execution for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the state Supreme Court overturned the district court ruling in the secrecy case, allowing the executions to proceed.
The inmates argued they had the right to know what drugs were in the lethal injection cocktail.
An Oklahoma County Judge Patricia Parrish agreed with the men, declaring the secrecy law is unconstitutional because it restricts the inmate’s access to the courts.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court granted the two men a stay of execution until it could review the lower courts ruling.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt said, “The Court today affirmed long standing precedent that the source of the execution drugs should remain confidential to avoid these types of schemes and intimidation used by defense counsel and other anti-death penalty groups. These death row inmates have not contested their guilt for murdering two innocent victims nor have they contested their sentences of death. The legal wrangling of the attorneys for Lockett and Warner has served only to delay their punishment for the heinous crimes they committed. We owe it to Stephanie Neiman, Adrianna Waller and their families to see that the punishment handed down for their brutal murders is carried out.”
Gov. Mary Fallin said, “This ruling shows that our legal system works. The defendants had their day in court. The court has made a decision. Two men that do not contest their guilt in heinous murders will now face justice, and the families and friends of the victims will now have closure.”
This clears the way for the executions to proceed.
An attorney for the two inmates, Seth Day, believes the state Supreme Court’s ruling is unacceptable.
Day said, “It is unacceptable that Oklahomans have no way of knowing that the scheduled upcoming executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner would be carried out in a constitutional and humane manner. It’s not even known whether the lethal injection drugs to be used were obtained legally, and nothing is known about their source, purity, or efficacy, among other questions. Oklahoma’s extreme secrecy surrounding lethal injection undermines our courts and democracy.”
As of now, both executions are scheduled for April 29.