Drug Cocktail Called Into Question In Richard Glossip Execution

Wednesday, September 30th 2015, 11:30 pm
By: News 9

News 9 is looking into more details as to what exactly happened Wednesday afternoon involving the drug cocktail just before Glossip was scheduled to die.

The last minute stay of execution came after the Department of Correction called the Attorney General, who then called Governor Fallin. The state then decided hold off on Glossip's execution.

“It is a very, very serious matter for the state that none of us take lightly, and it’s important to get it right,” Governor Mary Fallin said.

But when DOC officials went for the drugs to conduct Richard Glossip's execution, something wasn't right. There are three drugs in the cocktail one of which is potassium chloride, but in Glossip's case, the state somehow ended up with potassium acetate. That drug is not listed in the protocol of drugs used in Oklahoma executions. Governor Fallin found out about the dilemma Wednesday afternoon when she got a call from the attorney general.

9/30/15 Related Story: Gov. Mary Fallin Issues 37-Day Stay Of Execution For Richard Glossip

“The Department of Corrections had notified him that they were wanting to ask and clarify if they had the appropriate mixture with the potassium,” Fallin said.

DOC does not receive the drugs until the day of an execution. News 9 contacted the Department of Corrections and wanted to know how potassium acetate fits in the three drug protocol, but officials won't answer questions pertaining to that. News 9 asked if DOC notified Glossip in writing 10 days in advance as to which drugs were going to be used which is required by law, and they did.

“We were surprised to hear that the DOC substituted one drug for another in the protocol,” Glossip’s attorney Dale Baich said. “Back in August we received a letter stating that potassium chloride would be one of the drugs used.”

After Governor Fallin and Attorney General Scott Pruitt discussed the incident, Governor Fallin issued Glossip’s stay. It will allow time to figure out if potassium acetate is compliant with the state's execution procedure, and, bottom line, how and if a mistake was made.