Court allows Oklahoma to delay executions due to lack of drugs

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 24, 2014 5:29 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma court accepted a motion from the state on Friday to delay three planned executions so prison authorities can obtain a fresh batch of lethal injection drugs and implement new protocols drawn up after a troubled execution this year.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rescheduled the executions of death row inmates Charles Warner, Richard Glossip and John Grant, which were planned for this year. They were delayed by about two months each.

In September, Oklahoma said it would put in place new execution protocols after a doctor and a paramedic failed nearly a dozen times to place an IV during the April execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett.

His execution was halted about 15 minutes after it started due to the IV problems, which caused lethal injection drugs to leak into the death chamber. Lockett, who witnesses said was twisting in pain on the gurney, eventually died from drugs that has been absorbed into his tissue.

"Given that the torturous execution of Clayton Lockett followed a rush to execute, Oklahoma officials must now take all necessary steps and precautions to ensure that they will be capable of completing a lethal injection execution in a humane and legal manner before any executions may proceed," said Madeline Cohen, an attorney for Warner.

(Reporting by Heude Brandes; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jim Loney)