Pardon & Parole Board Recommends Clemency To Bigler Stouffer Due To Concerns With State's Execution Protocol

Wednesday, November 17th 2021, 9:56 pm

A majority of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board thinks Oklahoma's current execution process is flawed.

The board recommenced life without parole in a 3 to 2 vote for Bigler Stouffer. All five of them said they think he's guilty.

In 1985, Bigler Stouffer was sentenced to death for the murder of Linda Reaves.

“I believe that he committed this horrible murder,” said Kelly Doyle, a board member.

Guilt, not stopping the pardon and parole board from voicing concerns about the execution process.

“That whole trial that is scheduled to happen in February regarding those other inmates has to do with the drug cocktail and whether or not it works, and whether or not it exposes an inmate to cruel and unusual punishment,” said Larry Morris, another member of the board.

“Executions going the way they are currently going down. I don’t feel comfortable making a decision,” said Doyle.

The drug at the center of a trial in February is called midazolam.

“I am dumbfounded that we are even dealing with any of these cases, because they would be exposed to the same drug cocktail,” said Morris.

The state recently used the drug to sedate John Grant.

“Once the midazolam started flowing, he did convulse more than two dozen times and those were pretty violent convulsions,” said AP journalist Sean Murphy who witnessed Grant's execution.

“I do not believe that it was inhumane, because at the point in time that he was regurgitating, according to the physician that was monitoring the process, inmate Grant was, in fact, sedated,” said Scott Crow, the Department of Corrections director.

Other members said they are at a crossroads on how to proceed with unanswered questions.

“I need this information in order to be educated and continue to make these decisions in good conscience,” said Scott Williams, a board member.

“What are the options? I mean -- under that scenario we recommend clemency until it is figured out -- what does that do for victims?” said Richard Smothermon in response to Williams.