Executions Still On Hold In Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY - It's been more than a year and a half since executions in Oklahoma were halted - forced by the discovery of a pharmaceutical mistake in the high-profile case of Richard Glossip.
“It's a very, very serious matter for the state that none of us take lightly and it's important for us to get it right,” Gov. Mary Fallin said after executions were stayed indefinitely in 2015.
That fouled execution is now the subject of a new documentary questioning whether Glossip should be put to death at all.
In the months that have followed the halt, the state isn't any closer to new procedures. Terry Watkins, spokesperson for Attorney General Mike Hunter, said Friday, "we're still waiting on a protocol," from the Department of Corrections. Watkins was previously the spokesperson for the DOC.
Mark Myers, the newly hired spokesperson from the DOC said Friday the department isn't commenting. "It's too early. We're still working on it," he said.
Oklahoma relies on a controversial three drug lethal injection process as its main means of execution, but also has the firing squad and the newly added gas chamber as options should the deadly cocktail of drugs be deemed unconstitutional.
One of the main components of the lethal injection process, Midazolam, is at the center of a nearly unprecedentedly fast sequence of executions in Oklahoma’s neighbor state of Arkansas.
In all 49 people are currently on Oklahoma's death row. Three of them, Benjamin Cole, John Grant and Richard Glossip have set dates of execution; all still waiting to learn whether their day in an execution chamber may ever come.