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Lethal lessons: Oklahoma's execution procedures fall short

By ZIVA BRANSTETTER World Enterprise Editor and CARY ASPINWALL - Tulsa World Modified: June 23, 2014 at 5:45 am •  Published: June 23, 2014
In a cramped, dimly lit room next to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary’s death chamber, three volunteer executioners push syringes full of lethal drugs into the veins of an inmate they cannot see.

Sometimes the executioners use flashlights to illuminate what they are doing in the drug room. While the three can hear what is said in the death chamber, they use a makeshift system to communicate with the warden, doctor or others in the room.

The executioners stick colored pencils through holes in the wall where two IV lines feed into the inmate’s body.

“If you saw red, there might be possible problems,” a deputy warden explained in a deposition.

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