Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton addressed the media on Thursday after the monthly board of corrections meeting to discuss the events leading up to the execution stay of Richard Glossip.
“The drugs outlined in Oklahoma’s execution protocol call for the use of midazolam, rocuronium bromide and potassium chloride.
“The provider informed the department we had access to the necessary drugs approximately one month before the scheduled execution on Sept. 16. At that time an order was placed.
“Yesterday, the drugs were received at the facility in McAlester in a sealed box.
“At approximately 1 p.m., the sealed box was opened by a member of the execution team, where it was discovered we were given midazolam, rocuronium bromide and potassium acetate.
“Contact was immediately made to the provider, whose professional opinion was that potassium acetate is medically interchangeable with potassium chloride at the same quantity. However, by the provider supplying us with potassium acetate, a legal ambiguity was created that needed to be cleared up before moving forward.
“After speaking with the provider, a call was made to the attorney general’s office for him to be made aware of the situation. The decision was then made to make contact with the governor’s office.
“Contact was then made with a representative in the governor’s office.
“The discussion turned from the use of the acquired potassium acetate to if we could find the proper dosage of potassium chloride. The determination was made we could not find the proper dosage needed to carry out the scheduled execution.
“Out of an abundance of caution, it was my request to Governor Fallin that she grant a stay of the execution. The governor then granted the stay shortly thereafter.
“Some questions have been raised as to why the drugs arrive the day of the execution and the answer is because we do not have the state or federal authority to keep the drugs. As for the drugs we acquired for the original Sept. 16 execution, the sealed box was never opened at the facility. After the stay from the Oklahoma Court on Criminal Appeals, the sealed box was returned to the provider.
“I would like to thank Governor Fallin for her patience and allowing the department due diligence in finding the proper drugs to carry out executions moving forward.”