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The United States Supreme Court has granted Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Connor’s request to vacate the stay of execution. The state drew a raffle to determine which media outlets would be allowed to view the execution of John Grant at 4 p.m. The state killed Grant at 4:21 p.m., according to the Dept. of Corrections.
Grant’s execution was the first state-sanctioned murder by the state of Oklahoma since several botched executions in 2015. The SCOTUS ruling comes after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a partial stay of execution for John Grant and Julius Jones.
“The application to vacate the stays of execution entered by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on October 27, 2021 presented to Justice Kavanaugh and by him referred to the Court, is granted.”
According to Court documents, liberal Justices Breyer, Sotomayer, and Kagan denied the application. Justice Gorsuch took no action, while the remaining five conservative Justices approved it.
Oklahoma to execute man who was abused in state-run juvenile facilities
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.
Sarah Jernigan is the assistant federal public defender for western Oklahoman. She hoped her client’s clemency hearing would go their way.
“I think first and foremost we would say there is really nothing to be gained from executing John Grant at this point. We believe he is a person deserving of mercy, we believe the state of Oklahoma has instituted a clemency procedure for that very reason: to bestow mercy. We believe Mr. Grant is one deserving of mercy more than ever,” Jernigan told Public Radio Tulsa.
Before Oklahoma established a foster care system, children like Grant were placed in rural facilities.
According to documents from his attorneys, “Whippings, rapes, and assaults were routinely inflicted on the children in these institutions, including Mr. Grant, who was there during the height of the abuse in the late 1970s.”
Now, the state responsible for the abuse took a life for a life.
Adding to what some are calling an inhumane spectacle, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced a raffle drawing to determine which media outlets would be allowed to view the murder.
DOC appears to be fully ready to move forward with the execution if SCOTUS lifts the stay. We've been given tickets for the random media witness drawing, as was the plan, and security is heightened outside the gates.
— Dillon Richards (@KOCODillon) October 28, 2021
Meanwhile, with the stay of execution lifted for Julius Jones as well, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board is expected to hold his clemency hearing on Monday, November 1, 2021.