Oklahoma officials considered improvising once again during an execution when they realized they had a drug not legally approved for use in Oklahoma lethal injections, sources told The Frontier.
Officials “briefly considered” using potassium acetate for the scheduled execution of Richard Glossip last week, a spokesman for Gov. Mary Fallin said. The drug is not part of Oklahoma’s legally approved protocol.
Now three scheduled executions will be stayed indefinitely as state officials say they’re investigating what went wrong this time, so Oklahoma “can properly and lawfully administer the sentence of death.”
Two hours before Glossip’s scheduled execution, Department of Corrections officials said, prison staff opened a sealed box of drugs that had arrived hours earlier to find that it contained potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride.
After a request from the Attorney General’s office, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals issued indefinite stays for Glossip and two other inmates scheduled to die in October.
State officials repeatedly used the phrase “legal ambiguity” Thursday in reference to questions about whether the state considered substituting potassium acetate at the last minute for Glossip’s execution.
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