Oklahoma seeks halt of three executions after drug mix up

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2015 3:23 PM

By Heide Brandes

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The Oklahoma attorney general on Thursday sought an indefinite stay on three upcoming executions including that of Richard Glossip, whose planned execution a day earlier was stopped at the last minute due a mix-up with lethal injection drugs.

Scott Pruitt filed the request with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals so that the state could examine what went wrong with its execution protocols. Legal experts said the court is expected to grant the request.

In his filing, Pruitt said the office needed to evaluate what happened on Wednesday, when the state received potassium acetate for use in its three-drug protocol instead of the court-approved potassium chloride.

Oklahoma revised its death chamber protocols after a flawed execution last year when medical staff failed to properly place on IV line on a convicted murderer and rapist Clayton Lockett, who was seen twisting in pain on the death chamber gurney.

He died about 45 minutes after the procedure began due to an accumulation of lethal injection chemicals that had built up in his tissue.

Glossip was convicted of arranging the 1997 murder of Barry Van Treese, the owner of an Oklahoma City motel that Glossip was managing.

His lawyers said no physical evidence tied Glossip to the crime and he was convicted largely on the testimony of Justin Sneed, then 19, who said Glossip hired him to carry out the killing. Sneed received a life sentence.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Doina Chiacu)