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Parole board casts doubt on Oklahoma executions in another clemency decision

Prison bars
Posted at 1:46 PM, Nov 17, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 3-2 on Wednesday to recommend clemency for death row inmate Bigler Stouffer.

Stouffer is sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of Putnam City teacher Linda Reaves and the shooting of Doug Ivens.

The board recommended clemency on Wednesday despite acknowledging that Stouffer is not innocent of the crimes he's been convicted of.

Board members expressed concerns over the state's death penalty procedures after the Oct. 28 execution of John Grant — the first inmate killed by the state since lifting a moratorium on executions related to botched procedures.

Grant convulsed and vomited while receiving the lethal injection, but the state said the execution went according to plan.

Stouffer is the second consecutive death row inmate to get a clemency recommendation following Grant's death. Julius Jones, scheduled for execution on Thursday, is awaiting a final decision on his clemency from Gov. Kevin Stitt.

MORE >>> Julius Jones execution looming as governor holds off on clemency decision

Attorney General John O'Connor's office released the following statement after Wednesday's recommendation:

"I am disappointed with the decision of the Pardon and Parole Board recommending clemency to Bigler Jobe Stouffer. I was encouraged by the fact that the Board saw through the misrepresentations voiced by Mr. Stouffer and his representatives regarding his alleged innocence as most, if not all, Board members stated their confidence that Mr. Stouffer was guilty of the heinous crimes against Linda Reaves and Doug Ivens. The Board’s decision, however, was improperly based on whether an inmate will suffer pain during an execution. This concern is not a concern for the Pardon and Parole Board. Instead, it is a concern of the courts. The courts, in declining to grant a stay of execution for other death row inmates, have spoken. The execution of Mr. Stouffer should proceed. The decision, however, is now in the hands of the Governor. I will continue to make the safety of the citizens of Oklahoma a top priority of this office and will continue to advocate for the victims of this horrific crime as well as all victims of all violent crimes.”

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