A federal judge says Oklahoma's first execution in more than six years can go on as scheduled this Thursday. However, five death row inmates are appealing that decision.
Attorneys for the five inmates are now asking the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit to halt the executions due to the legal challenge against the state's lethal injection procedures.
Federal District Judge Stephen Friot denied the stay of execution for five inmates John Grant, Donald Grant, Gilbert Postelle, Wade Lay and Julius Jones.
“The district court itself has acknowledged serious questions about whether Oklahoma’s execution procedures will cause prisoners unconstitutional pain and suffering,” said Dale Baich, lead attorney for the group of inmates.
In the appeal, the attorneys argue the district court quote "misapplied and misconstrued applicable law...." and ignored a legal challenge against the state's use of a chemical cocktail to carry out executions.
That is expected to go to trial in February, lead attorney Baich argues executions should be halted until the case is settled.
The lead attorney tells News 9 that if the Tenth Circuit were to deny the stay of execution they would then go to the Supreme Court.