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Oklahoma Department of Corrections responds to execution concerns

Posted at 3:45 PM, Oct 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-29 20:44:03-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections executed John Grant by lethal injection on October 28th.

2 News Oklahoma's Sharon Phillips witnessed the execution as one of five media witnesses. She reported seeing Grant convulse and appear to vomit before being declared dead.

On Friday, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections held a news conference to discuss the process. Director Scott Crow said the execution "was carried out in accordance with the Oklahoma statues and Oklahoma Department of Corrections policies and procedures without complication."

There have been many questions and national media coverage about the execution process and Grant's reaction to the drugs used in the lethal in

Crow offered details about Grant's last day alive saying he was agitated most of the day while waiting on the Supreme Court decision regarding the stay and verbally abusive to DOC staff. Phillips also witnessed Grant yelling once staff brought him into the chamber prior to his execution.

These details are from the ODOC's director's observation of the execution. Grant received the first shot at 4:09 p.m.

He began to dry heave and later vomited. The DOC talked to the physician on site who said that is not uncommon for someone under sedation. “I will agree, inmate Grant’s regurgitation was not pleasant to watch, but I do not believe it was inhumane because at that point he was regurgitating. According to the position of those who were monitoring the process, inmate Grant was sedated.”

Crow said it lasted a few seconds and he sent someone into wipe Grant's face. The process was completed as planned. Officials said Grant never expressed any discomfort or pain, just yelled expletives. There are no plans to change any processes for future executions.

Officials said the process includes a more accountable chain of custody that is verified at multiple steps throughout the process before and on the day of execution.

“One of the things that we mentioned is that the protocol was completed without complication, and the basis for that is that at no point through the protocol or administering the protocol were there any delays or any complications that prevented the protocol from being completed," said Crow.

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