Time posts, "Oklahoma Changes Lethal Injection Protocol, But Keeps Controversial Drug," by Josh Sanburn.
Late Tuesday, Oklahoma announced new lethal injection procedures requiring more training for executioners and contingency plans if any problems arise. The new protocol also reduces the number of media witnesses from 12 to five. On top of that, it provides the state with four different lethal injection drug combination options, two of which still involve midazolam in a dosage that is five times larger than what was used in Lockett’s execution.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections released the new guidelines this week without comment. But the move appears to be a way for the state to continue executions while opening the door for more desirable and, possibly, effective drugs that have become difficult to obtain.
“I think this represents a tension between the drugs they would prefer to use and what’s available,” says Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-capital punishment organization.
"New Oklahoma execution protocols include bigger drug doses," is by Heide Brandes of Reuters, via the Colubus Dispatch.
Oklahoma set up new procedures on executions that include increasing by five times the dose of a sedative that was among the drugs used in a botched execution in April that prompted the state to suspend lethal injections.
The new procedures allow the corrections department director to choose from four lethal-injection options, two of which increase the dose of Midazolam from 100 milligrams to 500 milligrams.
Midazolam was used in the April execution of convicted killer Clayton Lockett, who writhed and moaned for 43 minutes before the lethal injection killed him.
Earlier coverage of the Oklahoma execution protocol changes begins at the link.