Two Oklahoma death row inmates prefer firing squad over lethal injection: report
Two death row inmates in Oklahoma have made requests to change the nature of their executions following a number of previously botched executions across the state.
On Monday, January 10, Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle submitted documents to US District Judge Stephen Friot requesting to be executed by firing squad as opposed to lethal injection. Their requests come after three-drug lethal injections —which consisted of midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride— resulted in botched executives for multiple inmates.
According to HuffPost, the inmates are asking Friot "to grant them a temporary injunction that would delay their upcoming executions until a trial can be held over whether Oklahoma’s three-drug lethal injection method is constitutional."
"While it may be gruesome to look at, we all agree it will be quicker,” attorney Jim Stronski told Friot following a hearing that took place in Oklahoma City.
The inmates' requests follow deep criticism the state has faced for its botched execution procedures. Back in 2015, following the death of inmate Charles Warner, who was convicted for the rape and murder of 11-month-old Adrianna Walker, criminal defense attorney Jacqui Ford pushed back against the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling defending the state of Oklahoma.
Although the court upheld Oklahoma's protocols for lethal injection insisting that it does not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, Ford argued that the state's botched executions are embarrassing.
“I think we should be embarrassed,” Ford said, per KFOR. “We look like some backwoods rednecks, and this isn’t the way we should be perceived.”
At the time, Ford also expressed concern about the legitimacy of future executions like the impending ones pending for Grant and Postelle. “How can we justify moving forward with any future executions, when we can’t even order the pharmacist to order the right medicine?” Ford said. “If we can’t even do this part right, then we can’t trust the government to do the rest of it right.”
A trial before Friot is scheduled to begin on Feb. 28. However, both executions are scheduled to take place weeks prior to the trial. Grant's execution is scheduled for Jan. 27 and Postelle's execution is set to take place on Feb. 17. Friot has not yet released a decision on the inmates' request but has said that he may have a decision by the end of this week.
“There’s a lot for me to get my mind around,” Friot said.
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