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Oklahoma To Resume Lethal Injections That ‘Burn Men Alive’ This Week

by : Julia Banim on : 25 Oct 2021 14:01
US State To Resume Lethal Injections That 'Burn Men Alive' This WeekOklahoma Department Of Corrections/Alamy

Oklahoma is set to resume lethal injections that ‘burn men alive’ this week.

The US state is set to resume injections after six years, with a series of horrifying botched killings having previously resulted in executions being paused pending a lawsuit from prisoners.

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However, following the appointment of new Attorney General John O’Connor, Oklahoma now appears to be taking a different stance on this issue. Last month, at O’Connor’s request, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals scheduled execution dates for seven inmates.

death penalty (Alamy)Alamy

It’s understood that these seven men – Julius Jones, John Marion Grant, Bigler Jobe Stouffer, Donald A Grant, Wade Greely Lay, Gilbert Ray Postelle and James Allen Coddington – will be killed at intervals between now and Spring.

However, the majority of these men are reportedly part of a lawsuit that challenges the state’s lethal injection process.

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This suit argues that even after a lengthy investigation, Oklahoma has yet to changed its process after multiple people were executed with the wrong drugs, resulting in cruelly painful deaths.

As per The Independent, this lawsuit claims that the three-drug concoction given to Oklahoma’s death row inmates stops breathing and the heart but doesn’t do enough to ensure people have lost consciousness before the point of death.

Indeed, autopsy evidence would suggests that these drugs give the sensation of drowning through a ‘flash pulmonary edema’ as well as being ‘burned alive’.

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The lawsuit argues that such injections lead to ‘severe pain, needless suffering, and a lingering death’, and are therefore in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Speaking with The Independent, federal public defender Dale Baich, who is leading the appeal, said:

Injustice does not even describe what would result if these plaintiffs are executed and the federal court later decides that the current Oklahoma protocol is unconstitutional. The executions could not be undone.

In April 2014, Clayton Lockett was given the wrong execution drug, after 17 attempts were taken to set an IV line. Lockett was witnessed moaning and trying to speak even after unconsciousness should have set in.

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The following January, Charles Warner was heard to state ‘my body is on fire’ during his execution, after also having been administered the wrong drug.

In September 2015, then-Governor Mary Fallin called off the execution of Richard Glossip with just two hours to spare, having learned that he too was about to be given the incorrect drug.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Oklahoma, US

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The Independent
  1. The Independent

    Oklahoma resumes lethal injections that ‘burn men alive’ this week. Seven men may die before they can appeal