The Oklahoman reports, "Motion filed to send Oklahoma death row inmates' lawsuit back to district court," by Graham Lee Brewer.
Lawyers representing two Oklahoma death row inmates who are suing the state have filed a motion to have their case moved back to the Oklahoma County District Court. The case against the state Corrections Department was moved to federal court Tuesday at the request of the state.
Clayton Lockett, 38, and Charles Warner, 46, filed a lawsuit late last month challenging an Oklahoma law that allows the state to keep secret its source of the lethal injection drugs it will use to execute the two men.
According to the petition, both Lockett and Warner believe their inability to know the source of the drugs or their quality suggests Oklahoma’s execution method carries with it “a substantial risk of inflicting severe pain,” which would violate their constitutional rights against cruel and unusual punishment.
Lawyers for the two men say an amended complaint will be filed, removing all federal-law claims and instead relying on the Oklahoma Constitution and statute, placing it firmly in the jurisdiction of district court.
"Oklahoma, inmates at odds over execution drug suit," is AP coverage by Bailey Elise McBride, via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
Lawyers for the state of Oklahoma and for a pair of inmates who have challenged the "veil of secrecy" surrounding the state's execution drugs can't agree whether their fight should be heard in state or federal court.
Oklahoma's attorney general's office has petitioned to have the inmates' lawsuit transferred to U.S. District Court, saying a federal judge should consider it because the inmates are invoking claims to constitutional rights. The men's lawyers say a state judge should hear challenges to state statutes.
While the lawyers fight it out, execution preparations will continue for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who are due to be put to death this month at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester, said Jerry Massie, a Corrections Department spokesman.
"Oklahoma board denies clemency for convicted murderer currently suing state," is also by Graham Lee Bruner in the Oklahoman.
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Tuesday denied convicted murderer Charles Frederick Warner’s request that his execution be commuted to a life sentence.
Warner, 46, is scheduled for lethal injection March 27 for raping and killing 11-month-old Adriana Waller in 1997. The infant was the child of his girlfriend. Warner was given the death penalty for the killing and 75 years for the rape.
The board voted 4-1 to deny Warner’s request for clemency.
At the hearing, Warner’s public defender showed the board a recent video interview with Adriana’s mother, Shonda Waller, where Waller said executing Warner would only cause her more trauma. Waller said that while she does not want Warner to ever leave prison, she is morally opposed to the death penalty and does not want his execution to take place on behalf of either herself or the memory of her daughter.
Earlier coverage from Oklahoma begins at the link.