2 Oklahoma death row inmates seek stay for appeal


march 11, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Lawyers for two Oklahoma death row inmates on Tuesday asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court for a stay of execution while their lawsuit makes its way through state court.

Attorneys for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner simultaneously filed an appeal and an emergency application for a stay of execution to the state’s highest court, writing the inmates “will suffer irreparable harm” if a stay is not granted. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish on Monday denied their request to halt the executions that are scheduled for later this month.

Parrish denied the request on grounds that the case was not under her jurisdiction. Lockett and Warner sued the Oklahoma Department of Corrections last month, challenging a law that bars disclosure of the state’s execution procedures.

“At Monday’s hearing, the State all but admitted it is now using compounded pentobarbital to carry out executions, but it continues to refuse to provide any information about the source of that drug,” Madeline Cohen, an assistant federal public defender said in an email.

Lockett is scheduled to die March 20 and Warner on March 27. They are not challenging their convictions but are asking for a temporary restraining order to prevent their executions until they know more about the lethal injection drugs to be used.

The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office will respond to the appeal to the Oklahoma Supreme Court by noon on Wednesday, a spokeswoman said.

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