Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals postpones two executions

by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: March 18, 2014 at 9:00 pm •  Published: March 18, 2014

A court delayed the execution of two Oklahoma inmates Tuesday because the state has run out of the powerful drugs needed for lethal injections.

Clayton Derrell Lockett, 38, was scheduled to be put to death Thursday for murdering Stephanie Neiman, 19, in 1999 in Perry. Charles Frederick Warner, 46, was to be executed March 27 for raping and killing 11-month-old Adriana Waller in Oklahoma City in 1997.

Lockett and Warner have been seeking a stay of execution because the state won’t reveal where it is getting drugs used in lethal injections.

A brief filed by the Oklahoma attorney general’s office indicated the state has not been able to find an adequate supply of these drugs, so the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decided Tuesday to delay Lockett’s execution to April 22 and Warner’s to April 29.

Assistant Attorney General Seth Branham noted the state Corrections Department said it was unable to acquire pentobarbital and vecuronium bromide, two of the three drugs Oklahoma uses in its lethal injection process.

The court cited the lack of drugs in its decision.

“The attorney general’s attestations give this court no confidence that the state will be able to procure the necessary drugs before the scheduled executions are to be carried out,” the court’s decision said.

“Based on this new information, we find the execution dates for appellants Lockett and Warner must be vacated and reset in order to allow the state of Oklahoma time to procure the necessary execution drugs or to adopt a new execution protocol.”

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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