Oklahoma AG Suspends Executions Indefinitely After Drug Mix-Up

The state realized it had purchased the wrong drug just hours before a Wednesday afternoon execution.

The Oklahoma attorney general has suspended all executions in the state following a disastrous lethal injection drug mix-up that occurred just hours before a scheduled Wednesday execution.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) on Thursday afternoon wrote that his office "needs time to evaluate the events that transpired on September 30, 2015," including how the state Department of Corrections secured a drug contrary to protocol, and the DOC's internal protocol surrounding executions. (See the order below.)

The order applies to the three inmates with scheduled executions: Benjamin Cole on Oct. 7, John Grant on Oct. 28 and Richard Glossip on Nov. 6. 

Glossip was being prepared for his 3 p.m. execution Wednesday when DOC realized the state had purchased potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride. 

Oklahoma has a three-drug protocol that uses a cocktail of midazolam to sedate the inmate, pancuronium bromide to paralyze him and potassium chloride to induce a heart attack.

According to an order from Gov. Mary Fallin (R), who issued the stay for Glossip's execution, the state is investigating whether it can lawfully use potassium acetate in executions. 


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