Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday postponed the scheduled execution of an inmate who claims he's innocent, saying a drug that the state Department of Corrections had received to carry out his lethal injection didn't match those listed in the agency's protocols. Fallin said prison officials received potassium acetate for use in Richard Glossip's execution, but Oklahoma's guidelines call for the use of potassium chloride. She reset Glossip's execution for Nov. 6, saying it would give the state enough time to determine whether potassium acetate is a suitable substitute, or to find a supply of potassium chloride. It's not clear why the error wasn't caught before Wednesday, or announced until an hour after Glossip's scheduled execution. It wasn't known whether Glossip was already on a gurney in the death chamber when the error was discovered.
Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton gave a statement to reporters at the media center near Oklahoma's execution chamber but walked away without taking questions. Wednesday's flawed execution attempt is Oklahoma's second since he took over the agency in January 2014. Patton said he requested the stay of execution "out of due diligence." "This will allow us time to review the current drug protocol and answer any questions we might have about the drug protocol," he said. Part of Wednesday's delay, though, occurred as the Corrections Department waited for the US Supreme Court to weigh in on Glossip's claim of innocence. Justices ultimately rejected his appeal. Glossip was convicted of ordering the 1997 killing of Barry Van Treese, who owned the Oklahoma City motel that Glossip managed, but he has long claimed he was framed. (Read more Oklahoma stories.)