As of: 10/29/2021 8:38 a.m.
For the first time in years, a convicted murderer was executed with lethal injection in the US state of Oklahoma. Their use was stopped after numerous complications – until a court overturned the decision.
Despite a number of problems with executions in the past, the US state of Oklahoma has carried out the death penalty for a convicted murderer. 60-year-old John Grant died from lethal injection on Thursday evening. It was the first execution in Oklahoma in six years.
Grant vomited and twitched all over his body about two dozen times before he was pronounced dead, journalists attending the execution reported at a press conference afterwards. A spokesman said Grant’s execution “was carried out in accordance with law enforcement protocols and without complications.” The African American was sentenced to death in 1998 for the murder of a white prison canteen employee.
Syringe executions suspended since 2015
At the request of the Oklahoma Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Supreme Court had previously overturned, without comment, the decision of another court that had temporarily stopped the execution because of previous complications with lethal injection.
Grant’s lawyers had argued that the use of the sedative midazolam was a cruel and unusual punishment. They called for executions to be suspended pending the trial of lethal injection in Oklahoma.
Midazolam has been identified as a possible contributing factor in a number of execution incidents in Oklahoma. The last one happened in 2015, as a result of which executions were suspended in the state. A corresponding lawsuit against the lethal injections is to be heard in court from February 2022.
Prior to 2015, Oklahoma had a number of serious execution incidents that raised questions about the drug cocktail in the poison tip: In April 2014, convicted killer Clayton Lockett had died 40 minutes after the lethal injection had been injected into the Muscle tissue instead of being injected into the bloodstream.
The wrong drug was used in the execution of Charles Warner the following year. Another execution was called off at the last minute when it was found the wrong drug was being used again.
Next execution in November
Another inmate is scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma on November 18. 41-year-old African American Julius Jones was convicted of shooting a white businessman in 1999, but has always denied the crime.