Oklahoma on Oct. 28 executed convicted murderer John Marion Grant in the first lethal injection in the state in six years, following a last-minute decision from the United States Supreme Court.
Grant was executed at 4:21 p.m. inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary using a three-drug mixture — midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride.
The execution was the first in Oklahoma since the practice was halted in 2015 after botched lethal injections.
Grant was convicted and sentenced to death in 2000 for stabbing Gay Carter to death while he was serving time for armed robbery.
According to witnesses, Grant convulsed two dozen times and vomited after receiving the first drug.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court gave stays to Grant and high-profile death row inmate Julius Jones on Oct. 27, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision with a 5-3 vote after State Attorney General John O’Connor immediately asked for the stays to be vacated.
The decision potentially paves the way for what could be a succession of executions in the coming months in one of the country’s leading death penalty states.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Dale Baich said that proceeding with the executions could cause “an unconstitutional risk of excessive pain and suffering,” according to NBC News.
“Executions will go forward in Oklahoma despite significant questions regarding the constitutionality of the state’s execution protocol,” Baich said in a statement.
Sarah Jernigan, Grant’s attorney, called his execution “the final injustice in his tragic life.”
In a statement following Grant’s execution, Jernigan said that Oklahoma had a “hand in this tragic story.
According to Jernigan, Oklahoma failed to provide Grant — who grew up in poverty — with the mental healthcare he needed while in prison and provided him with “incompetent lawyers” to handle his case.
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