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Lawsuit by two death row inmates moves back to Oklahoma County court

A lawsuit brought against the state by two Oklahoma death row inmates has been moved back to a district court in Oklahoma County by a federal judge. A new hearing is scheduled for Monday where the two men will ask for a stay of execution.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: March 7, 2014

A federal judge in Oklahoma granted a request Friday to move the case of two Oklahoma death row inmates who are suing the state back to Oklahoma County District Court.

Clayton Lockett, 38, and Charles Warner, 46, filed a lawsuit late last month challenging an Oklahoma law that allows the state to keep secret its source of the lethal injection drugs it will use to execute the two men. Their case against the state Corrections Department originally was filed in district court, but it was moved to federal court Tuesday at the request of the state.

According to the petition, both Lockett and Warner believe their inability to know the source of the drugs or their quality suggests Oklahoma’s execution method carries with it “a substantial risk of inflicting severe pain,” which would violate their constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment.

An amended complaint was filed Friday by lawyers representing the two men that challenges the state’s execution procedures under the Oklahoma Constitution and the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act, making it a case for a state court. At a Monday morning hearing, the two men will ask for a stay of execution until the case is adjudicated.

Lockett is scheduled to be executed March 20. Warner is scheduled to be executed March 27.

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 he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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