"Chamber will be ready for upcoming executions, director Robert Patton says," is by Cary Aspinwall of the Tulsa World.
The reconstruction of Oklahoma’s execution chamber is nearly complete and will be ready for three upcoming lethal injections, the state’s prison director said Thursday.
At a Board of Corrections meeting in Enid, director Robert Patton described how workers at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary had taken “the execution chamber down to the floor” to add space, improve lighting and make room for new medical equipment.
An overhaul of the state’s execution protocol is almost finished as well, based on the recommendations of a state investigation prompted by the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett that went awry.
The remodeled execution chamber will be opened to media and state officials in October and a revised protocol is expected to be approved soon, Patton said.
The cells where inmates are held prior to executions received an extensive remodel, adding security cameras, lighting and better visuals for the supervising officers.
The Oklahoman reports, "Oklahoma execution protocols, death chamber changes are expected by October," by Graham Lee Brewer.
At a Thursday meeting of the Oklahoma Board of Corrections, Patton said all of the changes recommended in the state Public Safety Department report with the exception of one will be implemented. Patton has said in the past the recommended change that the state Corrections Department only hold one execution per week must be addressed by the Court of Criminal Appeals or the governor, who have the authority to set execution dates. Another inmate, Charles Frederick Warner, was also scheduled to die the same night as Lockett, and the investigation found prison staff reported feeling a high level of stress leading up to the execution night.
Patton said those changes should be announced soon, pending some final review by an outside expert hired by the attorney general’s office to look at changes made to medical aspects of lethal injections.
“I was informed as we walked in by my general counsel that it is back with minor revisions to be made, the extent of that I don’t know,” Patton said.
"Corrections chief: State nearly ready to restart executions," is by Janelle Stecklein of CNHI News Service, via the Enid News & Eagle.
The state’s top corrections official said Thursday that Oklahoma will be ready to proceed with executions by November despite a federal judge’s concerns.
Oklahoma Corrections Director Robert Patton said changes to the state’s execution procedures were vetted by the attorney general’s office, which made recommendations for some “minor revisions.” The attorney general hired an outside contractor to review the medical portion of the new protocol, Patton said during the state Board of Corrections’ monthly meeting in Enid.
The last step of revising the updated procedures starts Friday, Patton said, and prison staff will begin training in early October.
Extensive renovations to the execution chamber, at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, will be finished by the first week of October, he said.
AP coverage is, "Head of Oklahoma prisons says state should be able to resume executions in November," via the Tribune.
The head of Oklahoma's prisons system says he is confident the state can resume executions in November despite a federal judge's concern that the prison staff must be retrained following Clayton Lockett's prolonged death in April.
At a meeting of the state Corrections Board on Thursday in Enid, prisons director Robert Patton said he expects that inmate Charles Warner will die Nov. 13 and that other inmates will be executed in the weeks that follow.
Earlier coverage from Oklahoma begins at the link.