Why Oklahoma Doesn't Want to Use New Execution Room

Chamber was unveiled last week, but state isn't ready for executions
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2014 2:23 PM CDT
Why Oklahoma Doesn't Want to Use New Execution Room
This Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo shows the gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma wants to put Richard Eugene Glossip, John Marion Grant, and Charles Warner to death—but not until 2015. Though prison officials last week unveiled a newly renovated and roomier execution chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the state's attorney general on Friday filed a notice seeking to delay the use of it. The reason, per AG Scott Pruitt: The state needs more time to obtain drugs and train staff on new lethal injection protocols put in place after April's botched execution before executing Glossip, Grant, and Warner. It would mark an additional delay for Warner, who had been originally scheduled to die on April 29—the same night that Clayton Lockett writhed and strained on the gurney, prompting the state to pause all executions pending a review.

Warner's new execution date is Nov. 13, but Pruitt asked that Warner's execution be reset for no earlier than Jan. 15, with Glossip's and Grant's executions to follow, reports the AP. The three are among 21 death row inmates who have sued the state seeking to block their executions, arguing that by tinkering with the lethal injection chemicals, the state is violating the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. A review from the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety blamed an improperly placed IV line, and not the combination of lethal drugs, for the troubles in Lockett's execution. The renovated chamber now includes an ultrasound machine to help locate veins. (More Charles Warner stories.)

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