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John David Duty - Oklahoma Death Row - Scheduled execution
Scheduled Executions
Upcoming Executions
Start : Thursday 16 December 2010, 22:00
End : Thursday 16 December 2010, 22:00


John David Duty - Oklahoma Death Row - Scheduled Execution for December 16, 2010

EXECUTED

Victims:Curtis Wise

The Crime: Duty was convicted of the Dec. 19, 2001, murder of 22-year-old Curtis Wise, who was Duty's cellmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Wise was strangled to death with shoelaces.

At the time, Duty was serving three life sentences for rape, robbery and shooting with intent to kill, all dating from 1978.

News: Oklahoma officials executed a convicted murderer Thursday using a drug combination that includes a sedative commonly used to euthanize animals, after a nationwide shortage of a key ingredient forced the state to tinker with the usual formula.

John David Duty was pronounced dead at 6:18 p.m. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

The 58-year-old, who was sentenced to die for strangling his cellmate nearly a decade ago, is believed to be the first person in the United States whose execution included the use of pentobarbital.

Duty and two other death-row inmates had challenged the state's decision to use pentobarbital, arguing it could be inhumane because a person could be paralyzed but still aware when a painful third drug is administered to stop the heart. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court upheld a ruling against the other two inmates. Duty did not take part in the appeal.

Several states have been scrambling since Hospira Inc. - the only U.S. manufacturer of the barbiturate normally used in executions - said new batches of sodium thiopental could be available "in the first quarter" of next year.

Oklahoma obtained a dose of sodium thiopental from Arkansas for its last execution in October, but couldn't secure any more, said Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie.

Executions have been delayed in California, Arkansas, Tennessee and Maryland as a result of protocol changes, including the use of new drugs, said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center. In Ohio and Washington, laws were passed to allow for the use of sodium thiopental alone, he said.

But Oklahoma's law calls for the use of a fast-acting barbiturate to be administered first, which gave the state the flexibility to use pentobarbital, Massie said.

"I think Oklahoma is the only state where this issue has come to a head over a new drug," Dieter said. "The other states that haven't been able to do it, it's because the state courts wanted more time to review the overall protocol changes."

Experts testified at a November federal court hearing that no other U.S. state uses pentobarbital during executions. Massie and Dieter both said before Thursday's execution that they believed Duty would be the first U.S. inmate put to death using the drug.

"I have not seen that (pentobarbital) has been used before in this context,'" Dieter said. But, he noted, "Some states don't say exactly what drugs are used and have kept that out of the public eye.'"

Last Meal: a double-cheeseburger with mayonnaise, a foot-long cheese Coney with mustard and extra onions, a cherry limeade and a banana shake.

Final Statement: When asked if he had any last words, Duty answered, Um, yes. To the family of Curtis Wise Id like to make my apology. I hope one day youll be able to forgive me not for my sake, but for your own. My family and friends are here too. Thank you, youve all been a blessing. Thank you Lord Jesus, Im ready to go home.


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