Clayton Lockett

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A multicounty grand jury released findings regarding Oklahoma’s execution procedures Thursday.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in three death penalty cases testing which drug combinations constitute cruel and unusual punishment when used to execute a convicted murderer by lethal injection.

It is the second time in seven years that the justices have looked at the lethal injection question, and it comes after three botched executions over the past year.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the local Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumni hiring attorney Stephen Jones and a Senate bill to ban teachers from paying union dues out of their paycheck.

The trio also discuss documents released by the Department of Corrections on the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, the lack of documents from the Governor's office and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb admits he has his eye on the Governor's office in 2018.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed today to review Oklahoma's method of execution by lethal injection. The justices agreed to hear the Oklahoma case a week after refusing to halt another execution that used the same drug formula.

There was a significant drop in the number of executions and death penalty sentences in 2014, a new report by the Death Penalty Information Center finds.

The group's year-end accounting finds that:

-- States conducted 35 executions in 2014 — the lowest since 1994.

-- And the justice system sentenced 72 people to death — the lowest number in 40 years.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Headlines for Wednesday, December 10, 2014:

  • An undercover investigation results in the arrest of an Oklahoma City-area abortion doctor. (NewsOK)

  • Government employees are raising concerns about low oil prices. (Journal Record)

  • A federal judge is keeping documents related to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett sealed.  (Tulsa World)

Oklahoma legislators are exploring the option of executing condemned inmates with nitrogen gas.

A formal interim study requested by Oklahoma City Republican Mike Christian was held Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee.

Christian is a staunch supporter of the death penalty who says he plans to draft a bill on the matter for next year's Legislature, which begins in February.

KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the report on the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, the Governor's council on earthquakes, hospitals angry over no Medicaid expansion, raising the minimum wage for waiters and the medical marijuana petition.

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