Civil Rights Law & Policy Blog

Editor: Andrew M. Ironside

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oklahoma used already executed convicts as disposals for unused execution drugs

First, Oklahoma had to delay two scheduled executions because it was unable to obtain the increasingly-difficult-to-find drug cocktail needed for the killings. The Atlantic now reports that the state has been disposing of unused execution drugs by injecting them into the already executed. The article begins:

3d9592a708d2be2e8e6b0a0d007f68a7_largeThe state of Oklahoma injected executed convicts with lethal drugs for "disposal purposes," newly published state records show.

 

The macabre practice, first reported Tuesday by The Colorado Independent, could tamper with postmortem toxicology results in a way that obscures from public knowledge the amount of pain endured during execution, a revelation that calls into question the state's methods for administering capital punishment at a time when lethal-injection protocols nationwide are drawing renewed scrutiny.

 

"Convicts executed in Oklahoma have in some cases died from overdoses of pentobarbital or sodium thiopental, the anesthetic, rather than the second and third injections in the three-drug cocktail, according to documents obtained by The Independent," reporter Katie Fretland writes. "Records show executioners then injected the remaining two drugs into convicts' dead bodies for what forms turned over in response to an open-records request refer to as 'disposal purposes.' "

 

State prison officials defended the practice, telling The Independent that it follows appropriate protocol.

 

Fretland's reporting also examines emails between Oklahoma officials joking about helping Texas obtain certain lethal drugs in exchange for college football tickets.

 

"Looks like they waited until the last minute and now need help from those they refused to help earlier," an official wrote in January 2011. "So, I propose we help if TX promises to take a dive in the OU-TX game for the next 4 years."

CRL&P related posts:

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/civil_rights/2014/03/oklahoma-used-already-executed-convicts-as-disposal-for-unused-execution-drugs-.html

| Permalink

Comments

Strapping a human down on a gurney and killing him by injecting poisons into his blood vein is a violation of the Sixth Commandment of Thou Shalt Not Kill. Beyond that, it is an unmanly way of killing a human. Stand them up and shoot them by firing squad. Make the Governor be the lead shooter on the squad. If the Governor does not want to shoot the human then he/she can pardon the human or give clemency and life in prison. Killing humans by strapping them down on their backs on a gurney and injecting poison is Un American.

Posted by: Liberty1stl | Mar 20, 2014 3:29:47 PM

Post a comment