lethal injection


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

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer said Friday it will move to prevent its drugs from being used in lethal injections.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Despite Oklahoma's bungling of its last three scheduled executions, the state's top law enforcement officer said justice demands that lethal injections resume once his office's probe into the last two drug mix-ups are complete.

Republican Attorney General Scott Pruitt said a grand jury directed by his office is nearing completion of a months-long, closed-door investigation into how the wrong drug was used to execute an inmate in January 2015 and then delivered again to death row for a scheduled lethal injection in September that was halted just before the inmate was to die.

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The last execution scheduled in the U.S. for the year is set for Tuesday in Georgia. But capital punishment has gown rare in America, to the point of near extinction.

Even though polls show that 60 percent of the public still supports the death penalty, and even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld it as constitutional, the number of executions this year so far is almost the same as the number of fatalities from lightning strikes — 27 executions versus 26 deaths by lightning.

America's death penalty is under scrutiny after a series of botched executions, drug mix-ups and difficulty acquiring lethal injection drugs. Just last month, President Obama called certain parts of capital punishment "deeply troubling."

Some say long waits and repeated last-minute delays are tantamount to torture.

Headlines for Friday, October 30, 2015:

  • Oklahoma is spending nearly $900 million on new turnpikes. (NewsOK)

  • Controversy over executions in Oklahoma leads to the resignation of the State Penitentiary warden. (Oklahoma Watch)

  • A judge gives the green light for Public Service Company to move forward with smart meters. (NewsOK)

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



This Week in Oklahoma Politics KOSU's Michael Cross talks to Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about an NPR and ProPublica report on the problems surrounding Oklahoma's opt out provision in its workers compensation system and the latest news on executions in the state.

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET.

Corrections officials in Oklahoma used the wrong drug to execute Charles Warner back in January.