Oklahoma attorney general seeks execution dates for 25 inmates

‘For the sake of the victims’ families, many of whom have waited for decades — as many executions as possible are set four weeks apart’ the state’s attorney general said

<p>Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor speaks to reporters following a campaign event in Oklahoma City. Mr O’Connor is asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates</p>

Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor speaks to reporters following a campaign event in Oklahoma City. Mr O’Connor is asking the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates

Oklahoma's attorney general has asked the state's highest appeals court to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates following a federal judge's rejection of their challenge to the state’s lethal injection method.

In 25 similar filings with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday, Attorney General John O'Connor wrote that the federal court's stays of execution are no longer in place and that therefore there are no longer any legal impediments to executing the inmates, who have exhausted their appeals.

The state Department of Corrections has asked that the first execution be set no earlier than 25 August, Mr O'Connor wrote. He asked that the dates be set at four week intervals due to the time required for a clemency hearing for each inmate prior to an execution, and that the DOC requested executions be set at least 35 days after the court's order.

“For the sake of the victims' families, many of whom have waited for decades — as many executions as possible are set four weeks apart,” Mr O'Connor wrote.

The state’s attorney general suggested that the first inmate who should be put to death is James Coddington, whose 10 March execution was postponed after US District Judge Stephen Friot allowed him to join the lawsuit that ultimately failed.

A phone call to the office of an attorney for Coddington rang unanswered Saturday. Defense attorneys have previously said Coddington has a mental illness.

Coddington was convicted and sentenced to die for the 1997 hammer killing in Choctaw of co-worker Albert Hale, who prosecutors said had refused to lend Coddington $50 to buy drugs.

Second on the list, which the filing said was proposed based on when each inmate's appeals were exhausted, would be Richard Glossip, the lead plaintiff in the federal lawsuit. He was hours from being executed in September 2015 when prison officials realised they had received the wrong lethal drug.

It was later learned the same wrong drug had been used previously to execute an inmate, and executions in the state were put on hold.

Glossip, who was twice convicted and sentenced to die for killing Barry Van Treese, the owner of the motel where Glossip worked, has maintained his innocence.

Don Knight, Glossip's attorney, noted that a group of Republican lawmakers who question Glossip's guilt have requested a review of the case.

“Those findings could reveal exculpatory information previously unknown until this point,” Mr Knight said in a statement. “Until everyone has the opportunity to examine the final report, the Attorney General has a moral duty to delay the execution of Richard Glossip.”

Executions in Oklahoma resumed in October with John Grant, who convulsed on the gurney and vomited before being declared dead. Since then, three more executions were carried out without noticeable complications, most recently inmate Gilbert Ray Postelle, who was put to death 17 Feb.

Federal public defender Jennifer Moreno, one of the attorneys who represented the inmates in the failed federal lawsuit, has said an appeal of Friot's ruling was being considered.

She didn't immediately reply to Saturday messages seeking comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in