The Norman Transcript

State/Region

March 13, 2014

Justices can’t decide execution stay try

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s highest court isn’t the right place for inmates to seek stays of execution as they challenge a “veil of secrecy” around execution procedures, the state’s attorney general’s office said Wednesday.

Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who are set to die this month, have asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court for stays pending a hearing in their lawsuit against the Department of Corrections. Lockett is scheduled to die March 20 and Warner a week later.

The inmates want to find out what drugs will be used in their execution, where, when and from whom the drugs were obtained and how the drugs have been stored.

An Oklahoma County District Court judge said she’s willing to take on the civil case, but she cannot set aside their execution date. The men have asked the state Supreme Court to halt their executions, but the attorney general’s office said Wednesday the Court of Criminal Appeals is the right venue.

A federal judge looked at the case last week and sent it back to state court.

The state Supreme Court plans to take up the stay request today.

The inmates’ lawyers say the Department of Corrections could avoid a stay of execution requests by revealing its protocol and the nature and source of its execution drugs. They say the state’s court filings are intended only as a means of “forum manipulation ... to prevent any court from addressing the substance of (the inmates’) claims before they are executed.”

The state, however, said the inmates filings are merely a “thinly veiled attempt to artfully plead around the jurisdiction of the federal court or continuing to pursue a stay in any other court than the (Court of Criminal Appeals) which clearly is the only Oklahoma court with authority to grant a stay of execution.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State/Region
  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Christie set to visit state for fundraiser

    OKLAHOMA CITY — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a return trip to Oklahoma after a December ice storm forced him to cancel a scheduled appearance with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin....

    July 30, 2014

  • Cool snap brings heat relief to Oklahoma, Arkansas

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The dog days of summer are coming in with a whimper. Weather forecasters say a cold front headed for Oklahoma and Arkansas will bring unseasonably cool temperatures and a chance of rain through next week....

    July 29, 2014

  • FBI defends search for Oklahoma City bombing video

    SALT LAKE CITY — The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge Monday in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Scam targets migrants

    HOUSTON — Scammers have been preying on the relatives of unaccompanied young migrants being held at two U.S. military bases by conning them into paying nonexistent fees to be reunited with their loved ones, officials said....

    July 27, 2014

  • Trial delayed for man in murder case

    DUNCAN — The first-degree murder trial of a Velma man charged with killing a 16-year-old girl has been delayed until January....

    July 27, 2014

  • Man seeks video of 1995 Oklahoma City bombing

    OKLAHOMA CITY — One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. What some consider a far-flung ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Man found dead outside Tulsa home

    TULSA — Police in Tulsa are investigating the death of a man whose body was found outside a house on the city’s north side....

    July 27, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014