Lawyer Explains What Is Next For Oklahoma Death Row Inmates

Tuesday, October 26th 2021, 5:08 pm
By: Brittany Toolis


An attorney for one of the five Oklahoma prisoners on death row is sitting down with us to explain what will happen to John Grant, and the four other men scheduled to be executed.

This comes after the U.S. District Court of Western District of Oklahoma denied a stay of execution for the men. Their attorneys have filed appeals with the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The state filed their response to the appeal before the deadline on Tuesday.

After that, it's up to the appeals court to decide whether or not John Grant will be executed in less than 48 hours.

"The judges will review the papers filed by the state, our stay application and will issue a decision," said Dale Baich, one of attorneys representing the prisoners. "We also asked for expedited briefing on our appeal."

If the stay is granted, both sides will have to present their case on a faster than normal schedule. Grant's execution is set for 4 p.m. Thursday.

He and the four others -- Julius Jones, Donald Grant, Gilbert Postelle and Wade Lay -- were removed from a lawsuit that challenged the state's execution protocols.

"The district court noted that there are some concerns about the drug combination the state of Oklahoma intends to use," Baich said. "So this issue is far from resolved. The only question is, will those prisoners get the benefit of any finding on the constitutionality of the Oklahoma protocol?"

The 26-page appeal cites those issues and goes so far as to call the five men "guinea pigs whose executions would be test cases assessing the State’s ability to conduct constitutional executions," as Grant will be the first person to be executed in nearly seven years.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow said the following statement:

"They have addressed the concerns about carrying out the death penalty and is prepared to follow the will of the people of Oklahoma expressed throughout the different steps of the legal processes.
"The Department of Corrections has addressed concerns regarding carrying out the death penalty and is prepared to follow the will of the people of Oklahoma, as expressed in state statute, and the orders of the courts by carrying out the execution of inmates sentenced to death by a jury of their peers."

The DOC also emphasized it has no role in those legal processes.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals is expected to be made later Tuesday night or early Wednesday.