Today's Tulsa World reports, "Federal judge hears testimony in death row inmates' suit," by Ziva Branstetter.
A federal judge will hear a motion Thursday by the state to halt proceedings in a lawsuit by 21 death row inmates challenging Oklahoma's execution process.
The hearing will be held before U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot in the Western District of federal court in Oklahoma City. The plaintiffs who filed the suit include three inmates with upcoming execution dates.
In the lawsuit, filed June 25, the inmates ask for an injunction preventing the state from executing them "using the drugs and procedures employed in the attempt to execute Clayton Lockett, or similarly untried, untested and unsound drugs and procedures."
The lawsuit was prompted by Lockett's botched execution on April 29. The execution took 43 minutes and was performed by a doctor and paramedic who said they lacked the proper medical equipment and backup drugs.
"Hearing set in US lawsuit filed by Oklahoma death row inmates seeking to halt their executions," is AP coverage, via the Daily Journal.
A federal judge is set to hear arguments filed by 21 Oklahoma death row inmates seeking to block their executions.
A hearing is scheduled before U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot Thursday in the lawsuit that alleges the state's lethal injection guidelines present a risk of severe pain and suffering.
The Guardian posts, "Oklahoma asks court to dismiss lawsuit brought in wake of botched execution," by Amanda Holpuc.
Oklahoma has asked a federal court to dismiss a first amendment lawsuit filed after the botched execution of Clayton Lockett on the grounds that having members of the public witness an execution “does not play any particularly positive role”.
Oklahoma assistant attorney general M Daniel Weitman filed a motion for dismissal of the lawsuit, which was brought in the US district court for the western district of Oklahoma in August by the ACLU, The Guardian, The Oklahoma Observer and journalist Katie Fretland, who reported on the execution for the Guardian. The plaintiffs claim that bearing witness to executions is a first amendment right, and contested the state’s decision to draw a curtain midway through the execution, prohibiting witnesses from seeing what was happening in the death chamber.
Plaintiffs have asked for legal injunctions that would block Oklahoma from filtering information about its lethal injection process before the next scheduled execution set for 13 November.
The ninth circuit court of criminal appeals in 2002 found that there is a first amendment right to view an execution, allowing media witnesses to view the insertion of the IV during executions in the states covered by the court, which are California, Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Arizona.
For those without their scorecards, there are two different civil lawsuits playing out in Oklahoma; one filed by journalists for media access at executions, the other by inmates challenging the state's execution protocol.