An Oklahoma assistant attorney general joked about exchanging advice about how to obtain a drug used in the lethal injection cocktail for tickets to the 2011 OU-Texas football game in a January 2011 email, according to public records obtained by the Colorado Independent.
The emails were published by the Independent on Tuesday, amid an ongoing national debate over the constitutionality of drugs used in lethal injections. The same day, the Oklahoma Court of Appeals decided to delay two executions until next month, after a brief filed Monday by the Oklahoma Attorney General's office indicated that the state has not been able to find an adequate supply of drugs used in 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.
Oklahoma has turned to compounding pharmacies, which are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to get their lethal injection drugs.
The Independent also reports that documents show that convicts executed in Oklahoma have in some cases died from overdoses of pentobarbital or sodium thiopental, the anesthetic, rather than the second and third injections in the three-drug cocktail. Records show executioners then injected the remaining two drugs into convicts’ dead bodies for what forms turned over in response to an open-records request refer to as “disposal purposes.”
Lethal injection is the only form of execution legal in Oklahoma.
NewsOK will have updates as this story progresses.
You can watch Independent editor Susan Greene discuss the story during an appearance on Democracy Now! below, as well as read the records obtained by the Independent.Email thread: Oklahoma searches for lethal injection drugs