Update: Oklahoma Attorney General asks for stays of executions until U.S. Supreme Court reviews protocols

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UPDATE: 1/2615 Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is requesting the U.S. Supreme Court stay the executions of three inmates while the current procedures are reviewed.  The next scheduled execution is this Thursday January 29.

A quote from the application states, “In light of the Supreme Court’s grant of appellants’ petition for writ of certiorari, the State requests that the executions of Glossip, Grant and Cole be stayed until final disposition in Oklahoma’s favor of the appeal in No. 14-7955, Glossip v. Gross; or, alternatively, until ODOC has in its possession a viable alternative to midazolam for use in its executions.”

“It is important that we act in order to best serve the interests of the victims of these horrific crimes and the State’s obligation to ensure justice in each and every case.” Attorney General Pruitt said. “The families of the victims in these three cases have waited a combined 48 years for the sentences of these heinous crimes to be carried out. Two federal courts have previously held the current protocol as constitutional, and we believe the United States Supreme Court will find the same. We thus support stays until a decision in the State’s favor is final or until viable alternative drugs can be obtained.”

Here is a statement from Ryan Kiesel the ACLU of Oklahoma Executive Director concerning Pruitt’s petition.

“While we continue to disagree with Attorney General Pruitt about many features of our state’s flawed system of capital punishment and the secrecy surrounding it, we support and applaud his action today. His request acknowledges that Oklahoma’s controversial lethal injection protocol raises serious constitutional questions, and that we cannot continue to use Oklahomans as specimens for human experimentation now that the United States Supreme Court has stepped in to review our practices. We only wish this prudent request for a stay was made prior to the two executions conducted by the state using the same methods currently under review by the Supreme Court.”

Click the link below to view AG Scott Pruitt’s petition.



Oklahoma City, Okla. (1/23/15) The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Oklahoma’s lethal injection system. Late Friday, the court said it would hear a case brought by three death-row inmates challenging the current three-drug cocktail used in executions. NBC reports, the challengers to the current system say Oklahoma would use the same second and third drugs as were at issue in 2008.  But they say the first drug, midazolam is not a fast-acting barbiturate and has no pain-relieving properties.

Oklahoma’s next scheduled execution is 6 days away. Right now there is no word on whether it will be put on hold until the court decides this case. NBC reports the case will likely be argued before the justices in April with a decision coming by late June.

Click here for details on most recent Oklahoma execution

“The time is right for the Court to take a careful look at this important issue, particularly given the bungled executions that have occurred since states started using these novel and experimental drugs protocols” said Dale Baich, one of the attorneys representing Oklahoma death row prisoners.

The Petition for Writ of Certiorari can be accessed here

The order from the U.S. Supreme Court can be accessed here:

Here are the next scheduled Oklahoma executions:

Richard Eugene Glossip on January 29, 2015

John Marion Grant, on February 19, 2015

Benjamin Robert Cole Sr. on March 5, 2015

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