Judge extends execution stay for Oklahoma death row inmate
Confusion about what sedative prison officials want to use when Jeffrey David Matthews is executed for killing his great uncle, has led a federal judge to extend a stay of execution for the death row inmate.
A federal judge has extended the stay of execution for a death row inmate condemned for killing his great uncle.
The extension was issued after Judge Stephen P. Friot noted prison officials switched several times what sedative they plan to use for the lethal injection of Jeffrey David Matthews.
The judge extended the stay until Nov. 20. The stay was to expire on Oct. 16.
Once the stay expires, the Attorney General's Office can ask the state Court of Criminal Appeals to set a new execution date, which is generally scheduled for about 30 days after the request.
Matthews 38, of Purcell, was convicted of killing Otis Earl Short, 77, and assaulting Short's wife, Minnie Delores Short, whose throat was slashed, during a 1994 McClain County robbery near Rosedale.
Friot's action is the fourth time Matthews has been granted more time before his execution. Gov. Brad Henry granted two stays of execution to give defense attorneys time to examine fingerprint evidence. Previous to those stays, Matthews was scheduled for execution on June 17 and again on July 20.
After the second stay expired, Matthews was set for lethal injection on Aug. 17. Hours before the execution was to happen, Friot issued a third stay after Matthews objected to the Corrections Department's substitution of the sedative used in Oklahoma's execution process.
During lethal injection, the sedative is administered first, followed by a drug that stops breathing and then a drug that stops the heart.
The third stay was set to expire on Oct. 16, but Friot extended it to Nov. 20 after a hearing earlier this week.
In his order, issued Wednesday, Friot wrote that "in less than six weeks, the compound designated to be used as the first agent administered in the execution of Jeffrey Matthews by lethal injection has gone from sodium thiopental to Brevital, then back to sodium thiopental, then perhaps, by implication, back to Brevital (or to a compound to be identified), then to pentobarbital."http://newsok.com/judge-extends-execution-stay-for-oklahoma-death-row-inmate/article/3500334