"State prepares to resume executions, but questions linger," is the AP report, via the Muskogee Phoenix.
Much of the concern over Oklahoma’s new protocols centers on the various drug formulas the state can use, especially using the sedative midazolam. That drug was used for the first time in Oklahoma in the Lockett execution, and also was used in longer-than-usual executions earlier this year in Ohio and Arizona where witnesses said the inmates appeared to gasp after their executions began and labored for air before being pronounced dead.
States have turned to new drugs and sources such as compounding pharmacies after drug manufacturers, many of them in Europe, took steps to ensure their products are not used in executions.
A group of 21 death row inmates has sued the state seeking to block their executions, arguing that by tinkering with lethal injection chemicals, the state is experimenting on death row inmates and violating the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The federal judge in that case expressed serious concerns earlier this month that the state would be ready to carry out three executions this fall.
The Oklahoman reports, "Outline of Oklahoma's changes to execution protocol," by Graham Lee Brewer.
After the execution of Clayton Lockett went awry in April, causing the convicted murderer and rapist to convulse, grimace and mumble while being administered a lethal injection, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety conducted an investigation into what went wrong. The investigation yielded 11 recommended changes to the state’s execution protocol. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections unveiled its revisions.
Earlier coverage from Oklahoma begins at the link.