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Oklahoma to resume executions after 9-month delay

Published:Friday | January 16, 2015 | 12:01 AM


After a nearly nine-month delay prompted by a botched lethal injection last spring, Oklahoma planned to execute a death row inmate yesterday with the same three-drug method Florida intends to use about an hour earlier.

Oklahoma prison officials ordered new medical equipment, more extensive training for staff, and renovated the execution chamber inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, to prevent the kind of problems that arose during the execution of Clayton Lockett last April. Lockett writhed on the gurney, moaned and tried to lift his head after he'd been declared unconscious, prompting prison officials to try to halt his execution before he died.

Attorneys for the state say a failed intravenous line and a lack of training led to the problems with Lockett's injection, not the drugs.

Court challenged

Both Oklahoma and Florida plan to start the executions with the sedative midazolam, which has been challenged in court as ineffective in rendering a person properly unconscious before the second and third drugs are administered, creating a risk of unconstitutional pain and


Charles Frederick Warner, the 47-year-old Oklahoma inmate scheduled to be executed, and three other Oklahoma death row inmates, have filed a petition with the US Supreme Court to stop their executions.