AG office 'frustrated' after execution halt

Posted at 5:47 PM, Sep 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-30 18:47:02-04

Not long after Gov. Mary Fallin issued a stay of execution due to lingering legal questions concerning the lethal injection protocols to be used for death row inmate Richard Glossip, the attorney general's office sent a statement expressing their "frustrations" about the confusion. 

READ the Executive Order granting the stay

Aaron Cooper, spokesperson for the AG's office, sent a statement, read it below. 

Shortly before the scheduled execution, the Department of Corrections advised the attorney general’s office that it did not have the specific drugs identified in the execution protocol. The attorney general advised the Department of Corrections and the governor that the litigated protocol, which had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, had to be followed. It is unclear why, and extremely frustrating to the attorney general, that the Department of Corrections did not have the correct drugs to carry out the execution. Our hearts break for the family of Barry Van Treese for having to endure yet another delay.  However, the most sobering and important duty for the state is to carry out the punishment of death.


Then, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Ryan Kiesel sent a statement saying "Today, the state has, once again, demonstrated its incompetence. That said, as much as this is evidence of the state’s incompetence, we are grateful Oklahoma has stepped away from the error, avoiding another potentially botched execution.

He continued, saying it was " ... unfathomable that it took Department of Corrections officials nearly an hour after the scheduled time of execution to come forward and say there were problems with the drug protocol. If Oklahomans had any doubt that their government can competently exercise its greatest authority over human life, then those doubts should be magnified ten-fold today. It’s difficult to imagine what was going through Mr. Glossip’s mind as he waited for his life to end for the third time. The psychological trauma inflicted upon the Glossip family may be, itself, the very type of cruel and unusual punishment prohibited by the United States Constitution. We fail to understand how anyone could say the events of the past several months resemble justice for the Van Treese family or the rest of Oklahoma."