The state botches a third execution months ahead of a federal trial over its two previous botched executions. The conservative U.S. Supreme Court allowed the execution to move forward despite an active lawsuit challenging the lethal injection protocol.
As if testing its problematic drug protocol on Black men for sheer amusement, Oklahoma has botched yet another execution. Following the United States Supreme Court ruling that executions can proceed in the state, Oklahoma executed John Grant at 4:21 p.m., but not before he convulsed, vomited and spewed pained profanity, according to reporters who witnessed the state-sanctioned murder.
“WITNESS: John Grant convulsed two dozen times as midazolam was administered. Then vomited. Then convulsed more. He was then declared unconscious. Then the second round of drugs were administered and he was declared dead at 4:21pm. His last words were a string of profanities,” KOCO reporter Abigail Ogle tweeted.
WITNESS: John Grant convulsed two dozen times as midazolam was administered. Then vomitted. Then convulsed more. He was then declared unconscious. Then the second round of drugs were administered and he was declared dead at 4:21pm.
His last words were a string of profanities.
— Abigail Ogle (@KOCOAbigail) October 28, 2021
John Grant was among several death row detainees listed in a lawsuit against the state’s problematic drug protocol.
Oklahoma botches execution ahead of trial over botched executions
In fact, the state halted all executions for nearly the last seven years after botching the last two executions in 2015 and 2014, which also involved Black men.
Clayton Lockett writhed in agony for nearly 45 minutes in 2014 after a nurse improperly administered the problematic drug protocol, and Charles Warner was administered the wrong drug in 2015. Yet, even after a trial date was set for February 2022 to decide whether the state’s execution protocol is constitutional, Oklahoma’s attorney general appealed to the United States Supreme Court to proceed with executions. The Court granted his request.
In a state where Black men make up less than 10 percent of the population, they account for 42 percent of the men scheduled for execution and 100 percent of the last three botched executions.
“Witness says he has watched 14 executions… and has never seen an inmate vomit. He says the body convulsions were similar to Clayton Lockett’s execution,: Ogle tweeted.
The state’s latest act of inhumane incompetence adds to calls to abolish the death penalty.
Following botched execution, Julius Jones prepares for clemency hearing
The next death row detainee scheduled for death, Julius Jones, awaits his November 1 commutation hearing. He’s maintained his innocence for 22 years in a 1999 trial plagued with racial bias and reasonable doubt, so much so, that the Pardon and Parole Board voted to recommend commuting his sentence to life with the possibility of parole.
Meanwhile, Governor Stitt has refused to accept the recommendation, instead choosing to wait until after the outcome of the clemency hearing.
“Julius Jones did not want his friend to die, let alone in this manner,” an organizer with the Julius Jones Coalition wrote on Facebook.
— Kassie McClung (@KassieMcClung) October 28, 2021
So eager to extract vengeance, Oklahoma has once again violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on “cruel and unusual” punishment found in the Eighth Amendment.
“Based on the reporting of the eyewitnesses to the execution, for the third time in a row, Oklahoma’s execution protocol did not work as it was designed to,” Federal Public Defender Dale Baich said in an emailed statement to reporters. This is why the Tenth Circuit stayed John Grant’s execution, and this is why the U.S. Supreme Court should not have lifted the stay. There should be no more executions in Oklahoma until we go to trial in February to address the state’s problematic lethal injection protocol.”
Officials charged John Grant with capital murder in the stabbing and killing of 58-year-old Dick Conner Correctional Center employee Gay Carter. His unsuccessful petition for clemency pointed to years of abuse while in the custody of state-run juvenile centers.