lethal injection

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.

Headlines for Friday, April 10, 2015:

  • Tulsa’s new Superintendent to cost more than $1M for next three years. (Tulsa World)

  • Governor Fallin is getting a bill to allow for executions through nitrogen gas. (AP)

  • Repairs at the Capitol might take half a decade to complete. (Journal Record)

Headlines for Thursday, April 9, 2015:

  • State Senators are sending their House counterparts a tougher anti-texting and driving bill. (NewsOK)

  • Right to Farm legislation makes its way through to the full Senate and if successful could be headed to a vote of the people. (Journal Record)

  • A bill to get mental health evaluations and treatment for inmates passes a House Committee. (Tulsa World)

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Utah's Senate has approved a measure that would allow a firing squad to carry out the death penalty if the drug to carry out lethal injections is unavailable.

The vote was 18-10, and it's unclear if Republican Gov. Gary Herbert will sign the measure, which would make Utah the only state in the nation to allow firing squads, into law. The state abandoned the practice a little more than a decade ago.

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

Executions are again on hold in Oklahoma after the U.S. Supreme Court granted the state's request to postpone lethal injections while justices review a challenge over the use of a particular sedative.

The court on Wednesday ordered Oklahoma to halt lethal injections after both the state and the lawyers for three inmates who faced execution between now and March requested the temporary stay.

The justices agreed Friday to consider the challenge to the use of the sedative midazolam, which has been used in problematic executions in Arizona, Ohio and Oklahoma.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed an application for stays of execution before the United States Supreme Court Monday morning.

The Attorney General has asked for the stays of execution of three death row inmates until a resolution in the State’s favor of the U.S. Supreme Court action in Glossip v. Gross, the petition for review the Supreme Court accepted last week, or until the Oklahoma Department of Corrections has obtained a viable alternative of drugs for use ­in the executions.

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.

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