Oklahoma inmate gets six month execution stay

US court sets November 13 as date for execution, following botched lethal injection of another prisoner last month.

Last updated: 08 May 2014 23:09
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Companies are refusing to supply states with lethal injection drugs [AP]

A court in Oklahoma has agreed to suspend all executions in the US state for six months, following a botched lethal injection last month that triggered accusations of torture.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Thursday granted a six-month stay of execution for Charles Warner, who had originally been scheduled to be put to death on the same evening as Clayton Lockett. 

Lockett's faulty execution on April 29 renewed the debate over the death penalty after the convicted murderer and rapist died 43 minutes after the start of a lethal injection and appeared in significant pain. 

He writhed on the gurney, gritted his teeth, lifted his head several times and moaned. Curtains that allow witnesses to view the execution were closed about 16 minutes into the lethal injection.

The director of the state's prison system, Robert Patton, then called off Warner's execution.

After the incident, Warner’s execution was delayed until May 13. He had been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of his girlfriend's 11-month-old baby.

The attorney general's office supported the decision, saying in a filing that "the state will not object to a 180-day stay to allow completion of [Oklahoma Public Safety Department] Commissioner Michael C. Thompson's investigation."

However, it called an indefinite stay "unwarranted".

Under investigation

President Barack Obama, who backs the death penalty for heinous crimes, condemned the "deeply troubling" execution of Lockett.

He has ordered Attorney General Eric Holder, who is seeking the death penalty in the Boston Marathon bombings case, to conduct a policy review of how the death penalty is applied in the US.

States in the US have faced challenges finding execution methods, with more companies refusing to supply drugs for executions.

Thirty-two states still have the death penalty and lethal injection is used in the vast majority of cases, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, a Washington DC-based non-profit organisation.

Thirty-nine people were executed in the US last year, with Texas leading the way with 16 and Oklahoma second with six.


Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.