Oklahoma Prepares For First Execution Of 2023

Oklahoma is set to put Scott Eizember to death on Thursday, the state's first execution of 2023.

Monday, January 9th 2023, 5:46 pm

By: News 9


Oklahoma is set to carry out its first execution of the year with death row inmate, Scott Eizember.

On Tuesday, just 3 days ahead of the execution, attorneys for Eizember filed a complaint against the Department of Corrections saying his religious rights are being denied. He was sentenced to death in 2003 after a jury convicted him of killing A.J. and Patsy Cantrell. Eizember broke into their Creek County home in order to spy on his ex-girlfriend across the street. He was caught after a 37-day manhunt – the longest in Oklahoma history.

In the complaint filed Tuesday, his attorneys claim his rights are being violated.

“This is an unbelievable injustice,” says Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood.

Hood says he met Eizember in September and has become his spiritual advisor.

“Scott and I quickly became friends,” he recalls. “Minister, parishioner relationship developed very quickly.”

He says what he heard on the phone last week is the reason for the complaint.

“He was told by the prison official that his request for me as his pastor to be in the execution chamber with him had been denied,” Hood says.

Hood, a pastor, and self-described activist says he was told it was because he posed a security threat.

“A security threat based on numerous peaceful protests,” he says. “Arrests for basic civil disobedience.”

Now, he says he has no intention of stopping or delaying the execution scheduled for Thursday morning at 10 a.m.

“If this execution is delayed because of this situation, you can blame The Department of Corrections not us,” says Hood.

The Department of Corrections issued a statement in response saying:

“The Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) is tasked with professionally carrying out the orders of the court in accordance with state statute, ensuring the dignity of all involved. Out of respect for the families of victims, ODOC will not allow the outbursts of activists to interfere, regardless of that activist’s declared role in this process. The spiritual advisor in this case has been arrested multiple times for such outbursts in other states, demonstrating a blatant disregard for the experiences of victims’ families and the solemnity of the process. Per policy, inmate Eizember will be afforded access to his designated spiritual advisor in the time leading up to his execution, and that advisor will witness the execution in another part of the facility via a closed-circuit feed.”

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