Lawyer For Oklahoma Inmates Criticizes Ruling In Execution Drug Case

Thursday, April 24th 2014, 9:27 am
By: News 9

An attorney for two Oklahoma death row inmates set for execution says the state's secrecy about lethal injection "undermines our courts and democracy."

Attorney Seth Day represents Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who challenged Oklahoma's law that keeps the source of execution drugs secret. After initially issuing a stay in the case Monday, the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed course Wednesday and dissolved Lockett's stay.

4/23/2014 Related Story: Oklahoma Court Rejects Death-Row Inmates' Claims

Day says Oklahomans have no way of knowing whether the executions will be carried out "in a constitutional and humane manner" and whether the lethal drugs were obtained legally.

4/23/2014 Related Story: OK Court Could Face Impeachment After Granting Execution Stays

But Attorney General Scott Pruitt says the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a long-standing precedent that says the source of the drugs should remain confidential. Pruitt noted that neither Lockett nor Warner challenged their guilt or death sentences.

Seth Day, attorney for Lockett and Warner, released the following statement on the ruling from the Oklahoma Supreme Court removing the stay of execution,

"It is unacceptable that Oklahomans have no way of knowing that the scheduled upcoming executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner would be carried out in a constitutional and humane manner. It's not even known whether the lethal injection drugs to be used were obtained legally, and nothing is known about their source, purity, or efficacy, among other questions. Oklahoma's extreme secrecy surrounding lethal injection undermines our courts and democracy."