Oklahoma to Start Executing People on Death Row This Month

Oklahoma to Start Executing People on Death Row This Month

In the United States, 36 out of the 50 states haven’t executed someone on death row in at least ten years. Four more states haven’t executed someone in at least five. Together, this means that four out of every five states haven’t executed anyone since Barack Obama was president. But things changed when Donald Trump was president. And, for the first time in six years, Oklahoma is getting ready to execute people on death row.

Oklahoma Will Execute Seven People on Death Row

Oklahoma hadn’t executed anyone since 2015. But state officials have now scheduled the first execution in the state for later this month and six more after that. Stories about what happened before the six-year pause will make you sick to your stomach.

In 2014,  Oklahoma officials injected Clayton Lockett with a new three-drug “cocktail.” Rather than killing him quickly, the drugs caused the 38-year-old man to twitch and convulse. After suffering for 43 minutes, he eventually died from a heart attack.

Nine months after that, state officials executed Charles Warner. Because of a “drug mix-up,” the 47-year-old man suffered for 18 minutes while waiting for his death. While suffering, Warner told officials that his body felt like it was “on fire.”

Oklahoma Isn’t Executing the Worst of the Worst

Executing people, especially with Oklahoma’s injection problems several years ago, is scary. But when you learn who the state’s officials have decided to execute, the situation feels even worse.

Julius Jones is a great example. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board gave Jones a recommendation for commutation. If the governor commuted Jones’ sentence, that would remove him from death row.

Jones is the first person on death row to receive a commutation recommendation in Oklahoma ever. According to the Pardon and Parole Board, which isn’t known for its sympathy, Jones is the only person in the state’s death row’s history who doesn’t deserve to die. Yet, for now, the state still plans to execute him on November 18.

Officials also made the decision to move forward with executions even though someone filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s death penalty earlier this year. By the time that lawsuit ends, at least seven, and likely more, people will have already been executed.

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