lethal injection

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Claire Donnelly / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A bipartisan group of Oklahomans is urging the state to keep its temporary ban on the death penalty.

The independent group, the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, spent more than a year reviewing the state’s death penalty process, from the initial arrest and questioning of a suspect through the execution.

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The state of Arkansas is set to execute seven death-row inmates in the span of 11 days, starting Monday. The executions are being rushed by the state, apparently because its supply of the drug midazolam — the sedative used in its lethal-injection procedures — will expire this month.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson defended the state’s decision, even though it is facing a number of legal challenges from the inmates, and two of the drug makers, which claim the way the drugs were acquired was improper and constitutes a breach of contract.

Arkansas Plans Rapid Execution Schedule

Apr 1, 2017

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Faced with an expiring supply of a controversial sedative, the state of Arkansas plans to execute eight men over 11 days — a pace that is unprecedented in recent U.S. history and that has been criticized by lawyers and former corrections officials.

The state is set to carry out the executions two a day on four days between April 17 and April 27. Multiple lawsuits have been filed over the schedule, citing concerns about the speed. Arkansas' governor and attorney general say the deaths will bring closure to victims' families.

Gov. John Kasich has put Ohio executions on hold until May, citing a legal challenge to the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol.

The governor's office released a statement saying it had postponed the execution dates for the next eight prisoners on death row, including the next prisoner to die, Ronald Phillips, who had his date moved from next Wednesday to May 10.

A federal judge in Ohio has rejected the state's three-drug lethal injection protocol on the grounds that one of the drugs, the sedative midazolam, is not sufficiently humane in its effects.

The drug has been used during multiple botched executions in Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma and Alabama, as The Two-Way has reported.

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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.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Oklahoma, a state with one of the busiest death chambers in the country over the last three decades, will have at least a two-year delay in lethal injections after the governing board of its prison system declined to consider new execution procedures on Tuesday.

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