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Oklahoma Execution Law Declared Unconstitutional

In a surprise ruling, at least to me, an Oklahoma County judge has declared Oklahoma’s execution law to be unconstitutional. The ruling said the secrecy law preventing anyone from knowing the source of the drugs used for lethal injections prevented condemned prisoners from having access to the courts. Under Oklahoma law, no one is allowed to disclose the source of the drugs used, even if an inmate sues and wants the information. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said that provision violates due process rights guaranteed in the Constitution.

Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Seth Branham told the judge during the proceedings that the inmates hadn’t proven they were at risk and that there was nothing they could do to stop their execution from being carried out even if they had the information about the drugs.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit by inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who sued the state last month. Lockett is scheduled to be […] → Keep reading