Although the State of Oklahoma hasn’t executed an inmate who was on death row since January 2015, that will soon change as officials have announced that it shall resume executions by lethal injection [Source: CNN]. The last inmate that was scheduled to be executed but wasn’t was Richard Glossip. While Glossip was convicted of arranging for an employee to murder their boss, he “has always maintained his innocence,” reports Sky News. Glossip’s execution date was set for September 30, 2015, which was his third execution date set for that year but managed to escape death after the execution was called off.
Apparently, a pharmacist had supplied the wrong drug. That incident led to a temporary ban being placed on all executions.
The ban on executions was a much needed one as there had been mishaps that occurred prior to Glossip’s drug mix-up. One of those mishaps occurred during the execution of Clayton Lockett. While Lockett was sentenced to death for the 1999 shooting of Stephanie Nieman, it wasn’t until April 2014, that he was scheduled to be executed “by a three-drug lethal injection cocktail” at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
After the first drug was administered, the execution was halted 33 minutes into the process. CNN said that “the doctor checked the IV and reported the blood vein had collapsed, and the drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both.” After 43 minutes into the execution, Lockett died of a heart attack. Another botched execution occurred in January following Lockett’s. In 2015, Charles Warner also executed although officials learned after his death that their drug supplier had sent the Department of Corrections potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride, says CNN.
After multiple mishaps, the State of Oklahoma was forced to intervene.
Has anything changed in how executions will now be carried out in Oklahoma?
Whilethere was no change to the type of drugs that shall be administered to successfully perform an execution of a death row inmate, there was a change in the drug supplier as we mentioned above. The three lethal drugs that have been and will continue to be used include midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride. During the news conference where the announcement was made, Gov. Kevin Stitt said, “I believe that capital punishment is appropriate for the most heinous of crimes and it is our duty as state officials to obey the laws of the state of Oklahoma by carrying out this somber task.”Hunter has announced that “his office has notified the state criminal appeals court that they’re ready to resume executions, which triggers a five-month wait before an execution can be scheduled.”
There are currently 47 people in Oklahoma who have been sentenced to death, 26 of which “have exhausted their appeals, according to Attorney General Mike Hunter. Hunter has said “the state’s Department of Corrections cannot set execution dates for people who have no more appeals until 150 days have passed.”
Don’t Become a Victim of Incompetent Counsel
You may have heard of the recent case involving Nathanial Woods. He was executed by legal injection on March 5, 2020, at 9:01 p.m. Woods was killed after he was convicted of shooting and killing three Alabama police officers despite the fact that the real shooter had come forward. However, because Woods was present at the time the officers were killed, he was charged with the actual killing of them.
Many of Woods’ supporters believe he was a victim of incompetent counsel as his attorneys allegedly advised him to not accept a plea deal that would have led to him serving 20-25 years in prison. Instead, they believed he would have been “acquitted of the charges because the evidence would prove that he was not the shooter that day.” Because Woods was “wrongly informed by his own attorneys that he wouldn’t be convicted of capital murder because the state needed to prove he pulled the trigger,” he was sentenced to death.
Charged with a serious crime in Oklahoma?
When faced with a criminal charge in Oklahoma, it is essential that you retain an OK criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand your charges along with that your rights are. Aside from knowing this, you need a legal expert on your side that can explain how you should proceed with your case so that you are able to obtain the best possible outcome. The criminal defense attorneys at The Henson Law Firm, PLLC are some of the best defense lawyers in the state of Oklahoma who can assist with your case.
If you are looking to fight your charges as you don’t believe there is ample evidence to convict you or wish to get them reduced to a lesser degree, contact The Henson Law Firm, PLLC now at 918-551-8995.
The Henson Law Firm, PLLC is located at:
601 S. Boulder, Suite 600
Tulsa, OK 74119