Oklahoma Lethal Injection Is On Trial And The Testimony Is Embarrassing
Oklahoma's 21st-century history with lethal injection has been checkered, to say the least.
The story starts years ago when pharmaceutical companies agreed to collectively protest capital punishment - the death penalty - by refusing to either manufacture or sell the classic and dependable drug cocktails to governments... if only it were that simple.
Instead of coming to the table, Oklahoma lawmakers and officials decided their justice wouldn't be decided unilaterally by the licensed drug dealers.
In the search for a new and effective means to kill a person lawfully, a lack of resources led to the state beta-testing on the convicted. Those infamously botched executions led to Oklahoma halting the use of lethal injection, at least for a while.
Last summer, Oklahoma announced they finally had a new drug cocktail and an official method of operation, a warranted "system" to ensure those departing this world under the courts' sentence wouldn't suffer in their last moments of life.
When Oklahoma resumed killing off the inmates on death row, it was clear that everything they hoped to avoid with their new and improved system had failed. After almost of decade of planning, state officials still haven't gotten it right.
A challenge from many of those people set to be executed has ended up in a federal court, and the testimony is as embarrassing as it is (probably) fabricated.
If you're keeping count, at least three of the last four executions were once again botched... and the wrong drugs were allegedly used in the process.
When asked if the correct drugs were administered, the director from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and his chief of operations both testified that the correct drugs were administered as per the official operating procedure... but the bottles just happened to be labeled improperly, accidentally marked as a drug they use in training...
Wouldn't using different bottle labels in the training portion of Executions 101 class just conditions people to reach for the incorrect drugs. It'd be like allowing soccer players to use their hands during practice or not calling the obvious double-dribble during some three-on-three basketball right? Like a police officer training with their taser in the spot they normally carry their firearms, then accidentally shooting someone when they were trying to subdue a suspect with their taser... which has happened.
Whether you're a fan of capital punishment or not, Oklahoma's ability to administer lethal injection is now in the hands of a federal judge. If he strikes it down as unconstitutional, Oklahoma still has three other legal methods of execution...