The Tulsa World reports, "AG says state not ready for upcoming executions," by Ziva Branstetter.
The state of Oklahoma does not have the drugs or medical personnel needed to carry out three upcoming executions as scheduled and has requested a two-month delay, records show.
“The State does not want to rush implementation of this new training program, especially so soon after revision of the execution protocol,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said in a motion filed Friday in federal court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
“The additional requested time for all three executions will allow ODOC sufficient time in which to obtain the necessary drugs and medical personnel and to fully and thoroughly train each member of the new execution team.”
Executions are scheduled for Charles Warner on Nov. 13, Richard Glossip on Nov. 20 and John Marion Grant on Dec. 4. Pruitt’s motion recommends they be rescheduled for Jan. 15, Jan. 29 and Feb. 19.
"Oklahoma asks for 60-day stay of executions," is by Graham Lee Brewer of the Oklahoman.
Despite confirmation last week from state Corrections Department officials that they were prepared to move forward with two November executions, the state has filed a motion for a 60-day stay on all scheduled executions.
After the lethal injection of Clayton Derrell Lockett went awry in April, the state revised its execution protocol and renovated its death chamber. Both changes were unveiled in early October, and the department confirmed Thursday it was planning to have the new protocol, and new training for staff that comes with it, in place for two November executions.
Friday, however, state Attorney General Scott Pruitt filed a motion asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to push the executions of Charles Frederick Warner and Richard Eugene Glossip to January to give the Corrections Department more time to implement the new protocol and secure the necessary drugs and medical staff. The motion also asks a third execution, that of John Marion Grant, be postponed until February.
The Guardian posts, "Oklahoma delays executions again despite unveiling new death chamber." by Ed Pilkington.
Oklahoma is having to delay its plans to carry out three executions, just days after it unveiled its new death chamber and bragged that it was ready to resume putting inmates to death.
Last Thursday state officials declared “we will be ready” to restart executions on 13 November as they led reporters on a tour of the newly renovated death chamber. But the pledge has turned out to be over-bullish, as the state’s attorney, Scott Pruitt, has filed a notice to delay the next three plannedexecutions, citing difficulty in obtaining lethal drugs.
Pruitt wrote in the filing: “The state does not want to rush implementation of this new training program, especially so soon after revision of the execution protocol. The additional requested time for all three executions will allow [the Oklahoma department of corrections] sufficient time in which to obtain the necessary drugs and medical personnel and to fully and thoroughly train each member of the new execution team.”
Oklahoma’s embarrassing reversal underlines the state of chaos that has descended on death penalty states as a result of a European-led boycott that severely restricts the sale of lethal drugs to US prison services. The state was thrown into further crisis in April with the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, who took 43 minutes to die and who writhed and groaned on the gurney after officials failed to secure an IV line into his veins.
Additional news coverage includes:
"Oklahoma attorney general seeks delay of three upcoming executions," by Kurtis Lee for the Los Angeles Times.
"Attorney general seeks delay in executions to finish prep work," by Glenn Puit of CNHI News Service, via the Muskogee Daily Phoenix,
"Oklahoma attorney general asks for delay in three executions," by Heide Brandes of Reuters, via Global Post.
Also, "Lawsuit names McAlester ER physician as execution doctor," is the Tulsa World report by Ziva Branstetter.
A federal lawsuit to be filed Tuesday by the family of Clayton Lockett identifies a McAlester physician as the doctor who carried out the execution, records show.
The lawsuit by relatives of Lockett names Johnny Zellmer, a McAlester emergency room physician, as the doctor who carried out Lockett’s botched April 29 execution. Other defendants include Gov. Mary Fallin, DOC Director Robert Patton, Oklahoma State Penitentiary Warden Anita Trammell and three unnamed executioners.
David Lane, an attorney based in Denver, said the lawsuit has not been posted on the federal court’s website due to the federal holiday Monday but has been sent to the court clerk to be filed Tuesday. Lane said he developed information that Zellmer was the doctor who handled the execution and called him about a month ago.
The filing in Lockett Estate v. Fallin, et al is available in Adobe .pdf format, thanks to the World.
"Family of executed inmate sues governor, executioners," is Oklahoman coverage by Graham Lee Brewer.
The lawsuit is also being brought against the physician that may have attended to Lockett during the execution, naming him specifically. State law prohibits the state Corrections Department from releasing the names of members of its execution team, however, the lawsuit names the doctor as Dr. Johnny Zellmer.
Zellmer, who works at the McAlester Regional Hospital Center, has no history of disciplinary action taken against him, according to the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision. Calls to both Zellmer’s residence and place of work were not returned.
David Lane, one of the attorneys representing Lockett’s family, said a source inside the state Corrections Department told him Zellmer was the physician involved.
Earlier coverage from Oklahoma begins at the link.