OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma is willing to put three executions on hold while the U.S. Supreme Court reviews whether a certain sedative can render death row inmates sufficiently unconscious.
Rather than stop the executions itself, Oklahoma took the unusual step Monday of asking justices for a stay. Oklahoma wants the right to resume executions if it finds a different suitable drug.
Four inmates sued Oklahoma, saying they fear the sedative midazolam cannot prevent their suffering as lethal drugs take effect. One of the four was executed this month and showed no signs of physical distress. Charles Warner implied discomfort during his final statement but before any lethal drugs were administered.
Last year, Clayton Lockett struggled against his restraints during his execution.
Another execution is set for Thursday. Two others follow by March 5.