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Judge rules Oklahoma can continue lethal injections

Okla. officials faulted for botched execution
Posted at 12:28 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 12:28:56-04

MCALESTER, Okla. (KJRH) — A U.S. District Court judge ruled Monday that Oklahoma can continue with its executions by lethal injection.

Attorneys for numerous death row inmates filed a lawsuit claiming one of the drugs given during the execution process is not enough to stop the inmate from feeling pain.

Judge Stephen Friot ruled that the inmates in the case "have fallen well short" of proving that the method of execution violates their constitutional rights. Friot's decision comes several years after the original lawsuit filing in 2014.

The state since halted executions due to botched procedures, and restarted executions in 2021 — killing four death row inmates before the nonjury trial, in this case, got underway on Feb. 28. The list of plaintiffs included 28 inmates at the time of the trial.

Friot said the evidence presented after the execution of John Grant — one of four men executed since the state lifted its moratorium — wasn't enough to show that the process was flawed. The state considered Grant's execution to be carried out "without complication" despite witnesses saying he convulsed and vomited.

The ruling is expected to be appealed.

The state has not scheduled its next execution.

This story was originally reported by Ryan Love on kjrh.com.