Tuesday, April 29, 2014
New York Times Oklahoma Set for Double Execution Amid Storm Over Lethal-Drug Secrecy
McAlester, Okla. — Attempts by two condemned Oklahoma men to delay their lethal injections over the state’s refusal to disclose the source of the drugs were set to end Tuesday evening in the first double execution in Oklahoma in eight decades.
The appeals for disclosure, supported by a state court in March, threw Oklahoma’s highest courts and elected officials into weeks of conflict and disarray, with courts arguing over which should consider the request for a politically unpopular stay of execution, the governor defying the State Supreme Court’s ruling for a delay, and a legislator seeking impeachment of the justices.
The planned executions of Clayton D. Lockett, 38, and Charles F. Warner, 46, dramatized the growing tension nationally over secrecy in lethal injections as drug companies, saying they are fearful of political and even physical attack, refuse to supply drugs, and many states scramble to find new sources and try untested combinations. Several states have imposed secrecy on the suppliers of lethal injection drugs, leading to court battles over due process and the ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
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