OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s highest criminal court set a Dec. 4 execution date on Wednesday for an inmate convicted of first-degree murder for stabbing a Department of Corrections employee — the third execution to be scheduled since a botched lethal injection in April.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals took note of the April case in setting the execution of John Marion Grant, 53. Grant was sentenced to death for killing corrections worker Gay Carter, who was stabbed 16 times at the Dick Connor Correctional Center in Hominy on Nov. 13, 1998, after Carter had removed Grant from a job in the prison kitchen.
Grant’s execution would be the third since the state suspended executions pending an investigation into the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett.
Charles Warner, who had also been set to die April 29, is now scheduled to be executed Nov. 13 for raping and killing his roommate’s daughter. Richard Eugene Glossip is scheduled to be executed Nov. 20 for the 1997 death of Barry Alan Van Treese, 54. Prosecutors said Glossip feared Van Treese would fire him for failing to properly maintain a south Oklahoma City motel.
The order setting Grant’s execution date notes that it was being set almost five months in advance to accommodate the investigation of Lockett’s execution. Normally, the court would set an execution date 60 days after a stay of execution is lifted. The U.S. Supreme Court denied Grant’s final appeal on June 9.
“In this case, however, we note the state’s obvious commitment that no execution be facilitated until a complete investigation into Lockett’s execution is completed,” the order says. It instructs the state’s attorneys to keep the court informed on the status of the investigation.
Lockett’s execution was the first time Oklahoma used the sedative midazolam as the first in its three-drug combination. After being declared unconscious by the doctor inside the death chamber, Lockett writhed on the gurney, moaned and attempted to lift his head for several minutes after the second and third drugs were administered.
After checking the IV, the doctor reported the drugs had either absorbed into Lockett’s tissue or leaked out of his body. Without an extra dose of lethal drugs, Oklahoma’s prisons director halted the execution, but Lockett was pronounced dead anyway about 43 minutes after the execution began.
Gov. Mary Fallin ordered the investigation into Lockett’s execution, and prisons director Robert Patton has suggested Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocols need to be revised.