A grand jury on Thursday released a report that essentially describes Oklahoma officials responsible for carrying out the execution process incompetent, according to the Washington Post.
The 106-page report “paints these officials as careless and, in some cases, reckless,” writes the Post:
The missteps described by the grand jury include a pharmacist ordering the wrong drug for executions, multiple state employees failing to notice or tell anyone about the mixup and a high-ranking official in the governor’s office urging others to carry out an execution even with the incorrect drug.
“There is no more serious exercise of state authority than carrying out a death sentence,” Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, said in a statement accompanying the report’s release. He said the grand jury report made clear that “a number of individuals responsible for carrying out the execution process were careless, cavalier and in some circumstances dismissive of established procedures that were intended to guard against the very mistakes that occurred.”
This grand jury investigation was launched after authorities in Oklahoma used the wrong drug to carry out one execution last year and nearly used an incorrect drug months later. In both cases, Oklahoma officials received the drug potassium acetate, even though the state’s lethal-injection guidelines require the use of the drug potassium chloride to stop the heart. (The other two drugs in the protocol include midazolam, a sedative, and vecuronium bromide, a paralytic.)
Oklahoma has executed 112 inmates since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, writes the Post.
SOURCE: Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty