U.S. Supreme Court orders Oklahoma to temporarily stop executions using controversial drug

Midazolam

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OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma inmate is granted a stay of execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Wednesday they are ordering Oklahoma to halt executions using midazolam.

“Respondents’ application for stays of execution of sentences of death presented to Justice Sotomayor and by her referred to the Court is granted and it is hereby ordered that petitioners’ executions using midazolam are staying pending final disposition of this case,” a court document states.

You’ll remember, Clayton Lockett’s execution last April was one of the longest in history.

It took more than 40 minutes for him to die due to several complications in the execution chamber.

That was the first time the state used a different sedation drug called midazolam, the drug that’s at the center of the case the U.S. Supreme Court is now reviewing.

At Charles Warner’s execution a couple of weeks ago, the midazolam appeared to have worked. Warner didn’t convulse on the table like Lockett, but he did say in his final words that he felt like his body was on fire.

Earlier this week, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt requested stays of execution for three death row inmates while the U.S. Supreme Court reviews the lethal injection policy in Oklahoma.

Scott Pruitt asked the U.S. Supreme Court for the stays of execution rather than Oklahoma’s governor because he says Governor Fallin only has the authority to delay a lethal injection for 60 days.

Richard Glossip‘s execution was scheduled for January 29. His execution is now postponed pending final disposition of the case.

 

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