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Oklahoma death row inmates offer firing squad as alternative

An attorney for two men on Oklahoma death row said after a judge pushed a judge that his clients agreed to choose firing squad execution as a way to delay their next lethal injections

OKLAHOMA CITY – Two men on Oklahoma death row – spurred on by a federal judge – have agreed to choose firing squad execution as a way to delay their next lethal injections, said the ‘one of their lawyers to the judge.

The two inmates, Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle, want U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot to grant them a temporary injunction that would put an end to their next executions until a trial can take place to determine whether the method of Oklahoma’s lethal three drug injection is constitutional. A trial on the issue is due to start before Friot on February 28, but the judge said to be added as plaintiffs, inmates must choose another method of execution. Grant, who is due to die on January 27, and Postelle, whose execution date is February 17, had not yet chosen an alternate method.

“While it may be horrible to watch, we all agree it will be faster,” attorney Jim Stronski told Friot on Monday after a day in court in Oklahoma City.

More than two dozen death row inmates who are plaintiffs in the challenge have previously agreed to provide the court with an alternative method of execution, including the use of different combinations of drugs or a firing squad, which is one of many methods of execution permitted by Oklahoma law.

Friot did not render a decision on the detainees’ request on Monday, but said he hoped to issue an order by the end of the week.

“There is a lot for me to understand,” said Friot.

Among the experts who testified was Dr.James Williams, a Texas emergency medicine specialist who has over 40,000 hours of experience in emergency rooms and who has extensively studied the use of squadrons. ‘execution.

Williams, himself the victim of a gunshot wound to the chest, said a firing squad involving the hits of at least four high-powered rifles on the heart’s “cardiac beam” would be so fast that an inmate would not feel pain. He also said that unlike lethal injection, there is a very low probability that the execution will be botched.

Oklahoma has never used the firing squad as a method of executing prisoners since statehood, but current state law allows its use if other methods, such as lethal injection , were deemed unconstitutional or unavailable. Oklahoma Corrections does not currently have an execution protocol in place for a method other than lethal injection.

Friot also heard testimony from Justin Farris, head of operations at the Department of Corrections, about recent fatal injections from death row inmates John Marion Grant and Bigler Stouffer late last year.

Farris, who was inside the death chamber for both executions, described the two lethal injections as being “on opposite ends of the spectrum”.

Grant, who was pronounced dead after vomiting and convulsing on the stretcher, was angry, cursing and resisting execution as he tried to flex his arms and legs, Farris said. Stouffer, on the other hand, “was as polite as you can imagine under the circumstances,” Farris said.

Farris also said the doctor who inserts the intravenous lines and helps supervise the lethal injections is paid $ 15,000 for each performance he attends, as well as $ 1,000 for each day of training. DOC policy prohibits disclosure of the names of execution team members, and the doctor wore a mask during the executions of Grant and Stouffer.

ABC News

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