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Execution of Oklahoma death row inmate James Ryder delayed to evaluate mental competency

Bill Oxford

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a 100-day stay of execution for 61-year-old James Ryder, who was scheduled to be executed on Feb. 1 for the 1999 murder of 70-year-old Daisy Hallum.

The stay will provide time for a hearing to determine whether Ryder is competent enough to be executed under Oklahoma law, which states a death row inmate must be able to have a rational understanding of the reason they are being executed. Ryder has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The next death row inmate scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma is Michael DeWayne Smith, who is scheduled to be executed on April 4.

Hannah France is a reporter and producer for KGOU.
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