death penalty


Oklahoma's execution practices were under the national spotlight when the 2015 legislative session began. A few weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging the state’s three-drug lethal injection cocktail, Oklahoma state Sen. Anthony Sykes, R-Moore, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 31.

'A necessary amendment'

More than five months after its last execution, Texas is set to execute Barney Ronald Fuller Jr., who was convicted of killing two of his neighbors.

After an almost three-year, defacto moratorium, Ohio plans to resume executions in the new year, the state's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says.

Ohio has not put anyone to death since executing convicted killer and rapist Dennis McGuire in 2014. The state used a never-before-used combination of two drugs to execute McGuire, and it took him more than 20 minutes to die.

A proposal to ask Oklahoma voters to enshrine the death penalty in the state's nearly 100-year-old constitution sailed easily through the Legislature, but now is facing opposition from groups on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

In addition to various faith and civil rights organizations that traditionally oppose capital punishment, several conservative groups and the newly recognized Oklahoma Libertarian Party also are joining the fight against State Question 776.

The Delaware Supreme Court has decided that the state's death penalty law violates the Sixth Amendment.

The court was responding to a U.S. Supreme Court decision from a case in January — Hurst v. Florida — that found that Florida's death penalty law violated the Constitution because it gave judges — not juries — ultimate power to impose the death penalty.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel and Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill about the budget given to lawmakers in the eleventh hour by the Governor and legislative leaders, a bill to counter the Obama Administrations guidelines over transgender students and bathrooms gets killed in a committee and Oklahoma joins 10 other states in filing a lawsuit over the guidelines.

Kate Carlton Greer / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma’s top officials say they’re taking time to thoroughly read a scathing 106-page report released Thursday criticizing Oklahoma’s execution protocols.

Gov. Mary Fallin and Department of Corrections Interim Director Joe Allbaugh both released statements acknowledging the 12-member panel of the multicounty grand jury and the process of reviewing capital punishment procedures.

“It is imperative that Oklahoma be able to manage the execution process properly,” Fallin said in a statement Thursday.


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

After Oklahoma bungled its last two lethal injections and had a third called off amid a drug mix-up, executions have grinded to a halt in a state that typically has one of the busiest death chambers in the country.

Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, who oversaw dozens of executions during his two terms in office, is helping to lead a prominent group of Oklahomans in a comprehensive review over the next year on the state's use of the death penalty.

Joining the former Democratic governor as co-chairs of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission are retired Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Reta Strubhar and former U.S. Magistrate Judge Andy Lester.