Oklahoma Execution Postponed; State Had Wrong Lethal Drug


Richard Glossip ate his second last meal in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and watched television news to figure out why he wasn't dead yet. Glossip learned yesterday afternoon that he wouldn't die that day, but he didn't know why, reports The Frontier in Tulsa. Outside prison walls, Glossip's family and friends thought he was already dead after they learned that the U.S. Supreme Court had denied his request for a delay. It turned out Oklahoma didn't have the right lethal drug to carry out the last step of his execution. Instead of potassium chloride, which stops the heart, the prison had potassium acetate. Glossip has had four stays of execution, including on Sept. 16, the day he was to be put to death. Yesterday’s stay was “the most stressful it has been,” he said. He had been moved to a holding cell and was not taken into the death chamber.

Now, he has 37 more days to live based on Gov. Mary Fallin's stay. Fallin said, “Last minute questions were raised today about Oklahoma's execution protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection. “After consulting with the attorney general and the Department of Corrections, I have issued a 37 day stay of execution while the state addresses those questions and ensures it is complying fully with the protocols approved by the United States Supreme Court.” Oklahoma changed its protocol after the April 2014 botched execution of Clayton Lockett, in which an IV was improperly inserted. Lockett died on the gurney 43 minutes after his execution began.

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