Oklahoma’s attorney general has asked the state’s highest appeals court to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates following a federal judge’s rejection of their challenge to the method of execution. state lethal injection.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s attorney general has asked the state’s highest appeals court to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates following a federal judge’s dismissal of their challenging the state’s method of lethal injection.
In 25 similar filings with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday, Attorney General John O’Connor wrote that federal court stays of execution were no longer in place and that there therefore had more legal obstacles to the execution of the detainees, who exhausted their appeals.
The state Department of Corrections has requested that the first execution be scheduled for no earlier than August 25, O’Connor wrote. He requested that the dates be set four weeks apart due to the time required for a clemency hearing for each inmate before an execution, and that the DOC requested that executions be set at least 35 days after the order. of the court.
“For the sake of the families of the victims, many of whom have waited for decades – as many executions as possible are spaced four weeks apart,” O’Connor wrote.
O’Connor has suggested that the first inmate who should be put to death is James Coddington, whose March 10 execution was postponed after US District Judge Stephen Friot allowed him to join the trial which ultimately failed .
A phone call to a Coddington attorney’s office went unanswered on Saturday. Defense attorneys previously said Coddington suffered from mental illness.
Coddington was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1997 Choctaw hammerhead murder of co-worker Albert Hale, who prosecutors say refused to loan Coddington $50 to buy drugs.
Second on the list, who the filing said was offered based on when each inmate’s appeals were exhausted, would be Richard Glossip, the lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit. He was hours away from his execution in September 2015 when prison officials realized they had been given the deadly wrong drug.
It was later learned that the same bad drug had previously been used to execute an inmate, and executions in the state were suspended.
Glossip, who was twice convicted and sentenced to death for killing Barry Van Treese, the owner of the motel where Glossip worked, maintained his innocence.
Don Knight, Glossip’s attorney, noted that a group of Republican lawmakers who question Glossip’s guilt have called for a reconsideration of the case.
“These findings may reveal exculpatory information not previously known,” Knight said in a statement. “Until everyone has a chance to review the final report, the Attorney General has a moral duty to delay the execution of Richard Glossip.”
Executions in Oklahoma resumed in October with John Grant, who convulsed on the stretcher and vomited before being pronounced dead. Since then, three other executions have taken place without notable complications, the latest being inmate Gilbert Ray Postelle, who was put to death on February 17.
Federal public defender Jennifer Moreno, one of the attorneys who represented the detainees in the failed federal trial, said an appeal of Friot’s decision is being considered.
She did not immediately respond to messages on Saturday seeking comment.