Oklahoma Death Penalty News

Started by heidi salazar, February 11, 2010, 01:48:09 AM

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Grinning Grim Reaper

Nitrogen gas death penalty bill clears Oklahoma panel


02/10/2015 11:52 AM KAALtv.com

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma would be the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates under a bill that has unanimously cleared a Senate committee.

With no debate, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 9-0 Tuesday to authorize "nitrogen hypoxia," which depletes oxygen supply in the blood to cause death.

The bill's author, Moore Republican Sen. Anthony Sykes, says it's likely the bill will be amended before the session is over.

Three lethal injections remain on hold in Oklahoma while the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether Oklahoma's three-drug method is constitutional.

A House committee studied the use of nitrogen gas to execute inmates after a lethal injection last spring sparked the legal challenge.

www.kaaltv.com
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Grinning Grim Reaper

Supreme Court upholds Oklahoma lethal injection process


WASHINGTON  |  By Lawrence Hurley

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that a drug used by Oklahoma as part of its lethal injection procedure does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, dealing a setback to opponents of the death penalty.

The court, in a 5-4 decision with its conservative justices in the majority, handed a loss to three inmates who objected to the use of a sedative called midazolam, saying it cannot achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery, making it unsuitable for executions.

Justice Samuel Alito wrote on behalf of the court that the inmates had, among other things, failed to show that there was an alternative method of execution available that would be less painful.

In a dissenting opinion, liberal Justice Stephen Breyer said the court should consider whether the death penalty itself is constitutional. He was joined by one of his colleagues, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The three-drug process used by Oklahoma prison officials has been under scrutiny since the April 2014 botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. He could be seen twisting on the gurney after death chamber staff failed to place the intravenous line properly.

Inmates Richard Glossip, John Grant and Benjamin Cole challenged the procedure. Glossip arranged for his employer to be beaten to death. Grant stabbed a correctional worker to death. Cole killed his 9-month-old daughter.

The main question before the nine justices was whether the use of midazolam violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

"I believe it highly likely that the death penalty violates the Eighth Amendment," Breyer wrote.

Justice Antonin Scalia responded to Breyer in a separate concurring opinion. Scalia said Breyer's arguments were full of "internal contradictions" and were "gobbledy-gook."

The case did not address the constitutionality of the death penalty in general, but it brought fresh attention to the ongoing debate over whether the death penalty should continue in the United States at a time when most developed countries have abandoned it. During the oral argument in April, conservative Justice Samuel Alito said the challenge to the drug was part of a "guerrilla war" against the death penalty.

www.reuters.com

This puts Florida back in the game as well...prepare to get lit up boys!  8)
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

Observer

I suppose the justice doesn't think that what happened to the victims was "cruel and unusual"?

Grinning Grim Reaper

Once busy Oklahoma death chamber stays quiet into 3rd year

By SEAN MURPHY | Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma, a state with one of the busiest death chambers in the country in recent decades, will enter its third year without an execution in 2018 while prison officials and state attorneys fine tune its procedure for putting condemned inmates to death.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said last week he was planning to meet with top prison officials and that he expected more clarity on the state's new lethal injection protocols "in the next two or three weeks."

"We need to feel some urgency, but we also need to get it done right," Hunter said. "I'd say both of those things are equally important."

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin said she has confidence in Hunter and Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh to develop new protocols, but acknowledged the challenge the state faces in acquiring the lethal drugs.

"The most solemn responsibility for a state is the taking of a life," Fallin said in a statement Friday. "The state needs to be certain that its protocols and procedures for executions work."

Of the 2,817 death row inmates awaiting execution in 32 states, 47 of them are in Oklahoma, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center.

Like many death penalty states, Oklahoma has struggled in the past decade to obtain the lethal drugs used in executions as manufacturers, including many in Europe, have said they don't want their products used to kill people.

Fallin reiterated her support of the death penalty for those who commit "heinous crimes" and said she's prepared for executions to resume under her watch once the new protocols have been approved by the court.

Allbaugh, the state's new prisons director, has declined repeated requests by The Associated Press to discuss the new execution procedures, and a spokesman for the agency said only that they are continuing to work on the protocols. Oklahoma law also allows for the use of firing squad, electric chair or nitrogen hypoxia to perform executions, but Allbaugh has previously said he doesn't intend for Oklahoma to become the first state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates.

Since executions halted, 16 Oklahoma death row inmates have exhausted their federal appeals and are awaiting dates to be sent to the death chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

And, a federal lawsuit challenging Oklahoma's execution protocols as unconstitutional remains dormant in federal district court in Oklahoma City, but is expected to be reactivated once the new protocols are released, said Dale Baich, a federal public defender representing a group of Oklahoma death row inmates.

"We'll review the protocol and at some point, approach the court with our concerns," Baich said.

The attorney general's office has said in court filings that it will not request any execution dates until at least 150 days -- or about five months -- after the new protocols are released.

The death penalty has bipartisan support in the Oklahoma Legislature, and more than two-thirds of state voters supported a pro-death penalty question on the ballot in 2016.

www.foxnews.com
Vengence is mine saith the Lord...who are we to question the instruments used to carry it out?

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