Thursday, April 24, 2014
Well, that didn't take long. Just days after staying the executions of two death row inmates, the Oklahoma Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that the inmates did not have a right to know the source of the drug cocktails that would be used to kill them. The court dissolved the stays and the inmates soon will be executed.
Today, the governor announced that the state plans to carry out the exections of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner on the same day. According to the AP:
It's rare for multiple executions to happen in one day, with only Arkansas, Illinois, South Carolina and Texas doing so since the death penalty was reinstated in the U.S. in 1976, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center.
"I think it's actually becoming less common because states have deliberately spaced things out," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the center, which opposes capital punishment. "It takes a toll on a prison and its personnel."
The most recent occurrence of two inmates being executed on the same day was Aug. 9, 2000, in Texas. The last time Oklahoma did it was June 11, 1937, when convicted murderers Charlie Sands and Leon Siler were electrocuted.
Arkansas is the only state that has executed three inmates on the same day since 1976: once in 1994 and again in 1997. In both instances, all three executions were carried out in less than three hours, according to the Arkansas Department of Corrections.