Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued a request to indefinitely suspend all scheduled execution dates in the state in light of the events that unfolded in the Glossip case on Wednesday.
Gov. Mary Fallin issued a 37-day stay for Richard Glossip after it was learned that the Department of Corrections did not have the specific drugs identified in execution protocol.
Around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Pruitt issued the request for an indefinite stay on all executions. The request states: “Due to the events of September 30, 2015…the Office of the Attorney General needs time to evaluate the events that transpired…ODOC’s acquisition of a drug contrary to protocol, and the ODOC’s internal procedures relative to the protocol.”
Benjamin Cole and John Marion Grant were both scheduled to be executed in October. Glossip’s execution date was moved to November 6.
Pruitt’s request went on to state, “The State has a strong interest in ensuring that the execution protocol is strictly followed. Therefore, the office of the Attorney General requests that all three executions be stayed indefinitely.”
Pruitt released the following statement regarding his request:
“The state owes it to the people of Oklahoma to ensure that, on their behalf, it can properly and lawfully administer the sentence of death imposed by juries for the most heinous crimes. Not until shortly before the scheduled execution did the Department of Corrections notify my office that it did not obtain the necessary drugs to carry out the execution in accordance with the protocol.
Until my office knows more about these circumstances and gains confidence that DOC can carry out executions in accordance with the execution protocol, I am asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to issue an indefinite stay of all scheduled executions. I am mindful of the families who have suffered an agonizing time through this process, and my heart breaks for them. At least three families have waited a combined 48 years for closure and finality after losing a loved one. Yet, they deserve to know, and all Oklahomans need to know with certainty, that the system is working as intended.”
OK-CADP spokesperson Rev. Adam Leathers released the following statement,
“We at the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty are grateful for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s recent request for the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to suspend all scheduled executions. We hope they will concur. However, we ask our fellow Oklahomans to consider all of the issues over the availability and supposed ‘safety’ of the three drug cocktail, as well as all of the repeated execution postponements, and all of the complexities and doubt of guilt surrounding Richard Gossip’s case. We must ask ourselves: ‘Is this all worth it?’ How many resources have we as a state wasted and accomplished nothing more than convincing the rest of the world we lack civility?”