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Oklahoma changes lethal injection procedure

After two March executions were postponed due to a lack of the necessary lethal injection drugs, a brief filed Monday in Oklahoma County District Court shows the state Corrections Department has amended execution procedure to allow for the use of new lethal drugs.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: March 24, 2014

In January, the state of Ohio used a mixture of midazolam and hydromorphone, a never before used combination, in the execution of Dennis McGuire. It took McGuire 25 minutes to die in what defense attorney Allen Bohnert called a “failed, agonizing experiment.”

State Corrections Department spokesman Jerry Massie declined to confirm the change to procedure, again stating the agency would not comment on ongoing litigation. Massie deferred questions Monday to the Oklahoma attorney general’s office.

Any changes to execution procedure are initiated and overseen by the state Correction Department, and the attorney general’s office is unable to comment on it or confirm changes to it, said Diane Clay, spokeswoman for the attorney general.

States are having a harder time finding lethal injection drugs as manufacturers and compounding pharmacies have come under public scrutiny and have become increasingly reluctant to provide them for executions.

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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