Executions

Updated at 11:31 p.m. ET

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the federal death penalty method, allowing the executions of four men scheduled in the coming weeks to go forward. They would be the first uses of the death penalty in federal cases since 2003.

The court's order was posted Monday. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor indicated that they would have considered the case.

After nearly two decades, the federal government will once again begin executing criminals, the Justice Department announced Monday. Four inmates convicted of murdering children are set to be put to death by lethal injection.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about lawmakers attaching strings to a new round of executive powers to the governor, legislative leaders announce a budget deal and Republicans push through a bill requiring notarization of absentee ballots.

OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

A federal judge on Tuesday ruled against death row prisoners who complained the state gave them incomplete rules for how it would carry out executions in the future.

The prisoners’ attorneys said when the state released new execution protocols, it was supposed to share details on new training for execution teams. The plaintiffs also complained the state hadn’t shared details on a potential new execution method.

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

Attorneys for a group of Oklahoma death row prisoners say the state hasn’t finished its revisions to a plan for carrying out executions, as required by a 2015 legal agreement that suspended capital punishment in the state.

Their challenge will be considered at a federal court hearing on Tuesday.

The argument is the latest in a roughly six-year lawsuit challenging the way Oklahoma executes people.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the State Equalization Board certifying revenue estimates showing Oklahoma will have about $85 million less to spend then the current year, state leaders say they have the drugs to resume lethal injection executions for the first time since 2015 and Governor Stitt wants to expand Medicaid by July of this year.

 

Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

The last executions in Oklahoma were embarrassing failures.

Before he died, Clayton Lockett writhed and moaned on his gurney. Charles Warner said his body was “on fire.” Richard Glossip’s execution had to be called off at the last minute.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. ET

A judge has blocked the U.S. government's plan to begin executing federal prisoners for the first time in nearly 20 years. U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued a preliminary injunction Wednesday halting four executions set to begin next month over concerns about the government's lethal injection method.

A Texas death row inmate was executed Wednesday by lethal injection for the 2003 fatal stabbing of two women, an elderly mother and her daughter, who had angered him when they were unable to provide him with enough work at their home for him to sustain himself.

Billy Jack Crutsinger, 64, died at the state penitentiary in Huntsville 13 minutes after receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital.

Updated at 9 p.m. ET

Twenty-one years ago, in the east Texas town of Jasper, 49-year-old James Byrd Jr. was walking home late on a Saturday night when three white men in a pickup truck pulled up beside him. The African American man was well-known and well-liked in the town of Jasper. And when the driver, Shawn Berry, offered to give Byrd a ride, Byrd hopped in — after all, he'd known the driver most of his life.

What happened next shocked the conscience of the town, the nation and the entire world.

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