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Oklahoma attorney general brief says Oklahoma does not have drugs needed for Thursday execution

According to a brief filed Monday by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, the state is having trouble obtaining two of the three drugs necessary to execute Clayton Derrell Lockett on Thursday.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: March 17, 2014 at 8:52 pm •  Published: March 17, 2014

The state does not have the drugs needed to execute a man scheduled to die this week, according to a brief filed Monday with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

In the brief, filed in response to a stay of execution request made by two Oklahoma inmates, Assistant Attorney General Seth Branham revealed state Corrections Department officials said Friday they were having difficulty obtaining two of the drugs in the state’s three-drug execution cocktail — pentobarbital and vecuronium bromide.

Officials have “pursued every feasible option to obtain the necessary execution drugs,” the brief states.

“This has been nothing short of a Herculean effort, undertaken with the sole objective of carrying out ODOC’s duty under Oklahoma law to conduct Appellants’ executions. Sadly, this effort has (so far) been unsuccessful.”

A commitment from a pharmacy to supply the drugs fell through, Branham wrote.

In February, Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie said Oklahoma had 10 doses of pentobarbital, a barbiturate used to render the condemned person unconscious.

Massie declined Monday to say what happened to those 10 doses or if they had expired, saying he would not discuss ongoing legal matters.

Clayton Derrell Lockett, 38, is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday for the 1999 murder of Stephanie Neiman, 19.

Lockett and inmate Charles Frederick Warner are asking for a stay of execution until a lawsuit they brought against the state can be heard.

Warner, 46, is scheduled for execution March 27 for raping and killing 11-month-old Adriana Waller in 1997.

The case

Lockett and Warner are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s ability to keep its source of lethal injection drugs secret.

They say not knowing the source means not knowing the quality of the drugs, which may be contaminated and cause them pain during the execution and violate their constitutional rights protecting against cruel and unusual punishment.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch, where he covered areas such as immigration and drug addiction, he went...
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