Oklahoma Death Row Inmate Executed Despite Clemency Recommendation

Oklahoma death row inmate Phillip Hancock was executed Thursday, Nov. 30. The Pardon and Parole board recommended clemency in a 3-2 vote in October that the governor had until this morning to review.

Thursday, November 30th 2023, 11:32 am

By: News On 6, News 9


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Oklahoma death row inmate Phillip Hancock was executed Thursday morning, even though the Pardon and Parole board recommended clemency for him in October.

Last month, the Pardon and Parole board recommended clemency in a 3-2 vote after Hancock's lawyer argued a new jury should take a look at the case.

Governor Kevin Stitt had until 10 a.m. this morning to respond to the recommendation after reviewing it since the vote.  

Because clemency was not granted by Stitt, Hancock was officially executed at 11:29 a.m.

In his final words, Hancock maintained the 2001 fatal killings were done in self-defense

It is unclear whether or not the Governor ever communicated a decision on the pardon and parole’s clemency recommendation or withheld from making a decision, allowing the process to move forward.

News 9 has reached out to the Governor for more information.

This execution comes more than 20 years after being convicted for killing two men in 2001. 

There was a delay in proceedings that caused the execution to be over an hour late to the scheduled 10 a.m. 

The DOC Executive Director, Steven Harpe, confirmed that there was a legal ask by Hancock’s team that was received at 9:10 a.m. asking for continuance that was under consideration by Stitt. 

He said at 10:10 a.m., they were given the move forward command from the General Council of the Governor's office, and Hancock was moved to the chamber.

Shortly after the execution, Attorney General Gentner Drummond released a statement saying, "Justice has been served for the murders of Robert Jett and James Lynch. I hope today brings a measure of peace to the families of the men whose lives were tragically cut short by Phillip Dean Hancock."

Drummond was present for the execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

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Hancock was convicted of murdering Robert Jett and James Lynch in 2001. Hancock has continued to argue that he acted in self-defense.

Hancock's lawyers, alongside a few state lawmakers, submitted a declaration from Hancock’s girlfriend at the time, Katherine Quick, who admitted that she had arranged with Jett to lure Hancock to his house to be “taken care of.”

She was angry that Hancock disapproved of her drug use, according to a statement from Hancock’s attorney, Shawn Nolan.

“I should never have asked Bob to take care of Phil for me. I didn't mean to put Phil's life in danger, but I did. I wanted Bob to scare Phil, but I wasn't considering how volatile Bob could be," Quick said in the declaration.

She said she had not shared this information until now because she was not mentally or emotionally capable of talking about it.

“I didn't tell Phil's trial team because I was in denial about my role in all of it all,” Quick said.

Hancock’s petition was also supported by a declaration of jury foreperson, who said the jury should have heard evidence of Jett and Lynch’s gang status and violent reputations, according to a press release. 

This is the fourth time The Pardon and Parole Board has recommended clemency since the state resumed executions in 2021.

The only time Governor Stitt has granted clemency was for Julius Jones in 2021.

This was the final execution scheduled in 2023 for the state.

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