The Washington Post

Oklahoma attorney general agrees to delay execution for six months

A June 2011 file photo of Charles Warner. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections file photo via the Associated Press)
A June 2011 file photo of Charles Warner. (Oklahoma Department of Corrections file photo via the Associated Press)

Oklahoma’s attorney general has agreed that the state’s next execution should be delayed for six months following the botched execution last week.

The bungled execution of Clayton Lockett on April 29 drew worldwide attention and renewed debate over the use of the death penalty in the United States. During the execution of Lockett, a convicted murderer, his vein collapsed and he appeared to be in pain. The execution was called off, but he still died minutes later from a heart attack.

Charles Warner, convicted of raping and murdering an 11-month-old, was scheduled to be executed two hours after Lockett. But that same night, shortly after the botched execution, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued a two-week stay of execution for Warner, which would have moved his execution back to May 13.

Fallin announced the day after the botch that she had ordered a review of the state’s execution procedures and said that Warner’s execution would be on hold until after the review was completed. Robert Patton, the head of Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections, had requested that all executions be put on hold until the state’s execution procedures could be revamped.

In court filings Thursday, Oklahoma Attorney General E. Scott Pruitt said he would agree to the six-month delay for Warner’s execution, which had been requested by Warner’s attorneys. An Oklahoma court will decide if the execution will be delayed.

This post has been updated.

With capital punishment dominating headlines, PostTV looks at the latest statistics on the death penalty in the United States, and in the 21 other countries that executed inmates in 2013. (Davin Coburn/The Washington Post)


Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.



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Mark Berman · May 8, 2014

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