Oklahoma must reveal where it gets its lethal injection drugs, a judge ruled yesterday, The Oklahoman reports. Two inmates scheduled for executions next month — Clayton Lockett, 38, and Charles Warner, 46 — sued to determine the source of the drugs. Not allowing Lockett and Warner to know the source and quality of the drugs denied them the ability to decide whether or not their rights might be violated, Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said. It's not clear whether the ruling could lead to delays for future executions.
The men argued their constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment would be violated if the drugs were unsafe, causing them pain during execution. Attorneys representing the two men pointed to the January execution of Micheal Lee Wilson, who said “I can feel my whole body burning” just before he died. The state amended protocol last week to include the use of additional lethal drugs, including a mixture that took about 25 minutes to kill an Ohio man in January. Assistant Attorney General John Hadden argued much of the concern over the drugs is speculation. He said the sources need to be kept secret to protect their safety.