Oklahoma Supreme Court stays execution of two death row inmates who challenged execution secrecy.
Lawyers for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner filed a petition Monday asking the state's highest court to delay their executions so their ongoing case against the state can be fully litigated. The inmates sued the state corrections department in February over the secrecy protocol surrounding executions.
Susanna Gattoni and Seth day, attorneys for Locket and Warner released this statement:
"We are relieved, and extremely grateful to the Oklahoma Supreme Court for its reasonable decision to stay the scheduled executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner. In order for the courts to be able to do their job of ensuring that all state and federal laws are followed, they must have complete information about the drugs intended for use in executions, including their source. While the state has recently, finally, disclosed its new, experimental proposed drug protocol for an execution, far too little is known about the source of the drugs, their testing and how they would be administered. It is not even clear whether the drugs were obtained legally. With today's stay, the Oklahoma Supreme Court will be able to fully adjudicate the serious constitutional issues about the extreme secrecy surrounding lethal injection procedures in our state."
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Friday that is was not the court to grant the inmates a stay, despite a ruling earlier in the week by the state Supreme Court that the appeals court could issue a stay or move an execution.
Lockett was set to be executed Tuesday night.