Tag: death penalty protocol

Oklahoma: Drugs Injected into Executed Inmates Corpses

There's a big fight going on in Oklahoma over the scarcity of execution drugs and the use of substitute drugs. Oklahoma is running short on two of the three drugs in its death cocktail and the Court just delayed two executions set for April.

Katie Fretland, writing in Colorado's The Independent, has an excellent report on this. She also made a FOIA request for Oklahoma records. Among other things, the records she received show executioners had injected leftover drugs into the corpses of the executed inmates to dispose of the drugs.

Convicts executed in Oklahoma have in some cases died from overdoses of pentobarbital or sodium thiopental, the anesthetic, rather than the second and third injections in the three-drug cocktail, according to documents obtained by The Independent. Records show executioners then injected the remaining two drugs into convicts’ dead bodies for what forms turned over in response to an open-records request refer to as “disposal purposes.”

Jerry Massie, the spokesman for the prison system, defended the practice, saying it follows state protocol.


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