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Fallin: State May Have Used Wrong Drug To Execute Charles Warner

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Charles Warner was executed in January, 2015. Charles Warner was executed in January, 2015.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin released a statement Thursday morning, saying the state may have used the wrong drug to execute death row inmate Charles Warner back in January, 2015.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Fallin issued a last-minute stay of execution for high-profile death row inmate Richard Glossip, after the Department of Corrections said it received potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride.

10/1/2015 Related Story: New Questions Surrounding The Stay Of Richard Glossip's Execution

Gov. Fallin released a statement on Thursday, October 8, saying during the discussion of execution delay for Glossip, she learned that the Department of Corrections may have used potassium acetate in the execution of Charles Warner in January, instead of using potassium chloride.

1/15/2015 Related Story: Oklahoma Killer Executed After U.S. Supreme Court Denies Stay

Read Gov. Fallin’s complete statement below,

"Last Wednesday, in the early afternoon on the day of Richard Glossip's scheduled execution, the Department of Corrections consulted with the attorney general's office and then called my office to say they had received a drug called potassium acetate instead of the drug potassium chloride.  This was the first time that myself or anyone in my office had been notified of potassium acetate.  According to the DOC staff, the doctor working with the agency as well as the pharmacist assured the DOC that the two drugs are medically interchangeable. The active ingredient is potassium which, when injected in large quantities, stops the heart.

As an act of precaution, the attorney general and I decided to stop the execution. During the discussion of the delay of the execution it became apparent that DOC may have used potassium acetate in the execution of Charles Warner in January of this year. I was not aware nor was anyone in my office aware of that possibility until the day of Richard Glossip's scheduled execution. The attorney general's office is conducting an inquiry into the Warner execution and I am fully supportive of that inquiry. It is imperative that the attorney general obtain the information he needs to make sure justice is served competently and fairly.

Moving forward, the attorney general, the Department of Corrections and my office will work cooperatively to address these issues. Until we have complete confidence in the system, we will delay any further executions."

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt released the following statement, 

“While it is the policy of my office not to comment on pending investigations, as I stated last Thursday in a pleading to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, we are evaluating ‘the events that transpired on September 30, 2015, ODOC’s acquisition of a drug contrary to protocol, and ODOC’s internal procedures relative to the protocol. The State has a strong interest in ensuring that the execution protocol is strictly followed.’ I want to assure the public that our investigation will be full, fair and complete and includes not only actions on September 30, but any and all actions prior, relevant to the use of potassium acetate and potassium chloride.” 

One of Glossip’s attorneys released the following statement concerning the issue,

"We cannot trust Oklahoma to get it right or to tell the truth. The State’s disclosure that it used potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride during the execution of Charles Warner yet again raises serious questions about the ability of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections to carry out executions. The execution logs for Charles Warner say that he was administered potassium chloride, but now the State says potassium acetate was used. We will explore this in detail through the discovery process in the federal litigation," said Dale Baich, Assistant Federal Public Defender, District of Arizona, and one of the attorneys for Petitioners in Glossip v. Gross.

News 9 Reporter Grant Hermes is following this story. Stay with News 9 and News9.com for more updates.

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