Federal Judge Rules Death Injections Can Proceed

(JustPatriots.com)- Oklahoma can move forward with executing the death penalty for five inmates on death row.

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that the lethal injections could move forward. The first execution is scheduled for later this week.

The five inmates in Oklahoma were seeking a preliminary injunction on their executions, but that was rejected by Judge Stephen Friot. The plaintiffs in the case were Wade Greely Lay, Gilbert Ray Postelle, Donald A. Grant, John Marion Grant and Julius Jones.

Those five inmates will all be executed over the next six months.

The first will be this Thursday for John Grant, a 60-year-old inmate who was convicted of murdering a cafeteria worker in prison back in 1998. His lethal injection execution will be the first in the state in more than six years.

The Associated Press reported that these five defendants were removed from a federal lawsuit that is challenging the three-drug lethal injection that’s in place in Oklahoma. The AP said the reason was because the defendants didn’t provide an alternate method or methods of execution.

The attorneys who represented the five inmates said they would appeal this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

The assistant public defender who represents Jones, Dale Baich, commented:

“We will be asking the 10th Circuit to review Judge Friot’s decision and to issue a stay for Mr. Grant’s execution, as well as for the executions scheduled in the coming months.

 

“The district court acknowledged there are serious questions about the drug protocol used by Oklahoma and that it could cause unconstitutional pain and suffering. With the trial on that question scheduled for February 2022, executions should not go forward.”

There were 32 inmates in total who appeared on the lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s execution method, and 26 of them provided an alternate method. Of those 26, 19 chose firing squad.

That trial will be held in front of Judge Friot as well. It’s scheduled to begin in February of 2022.

As Friot said at the time of the ruling:

“The case is complete in this court as to these five plaintiffs.”

Jones’ case is well-known throughout the country. It even became a feature of the series “The Last Defense,” a documentary that aired on ABC. He was convicted of killing a businessman as part of a carjacking that happened in 1999. However, Jones has maintained that he did not commit the crime.

Some groups have even come to his side to try to support him, too. The Innocence Project, for example, said Jones has an alibi that places him somewhere else at the time the carjacking took place. He also apparently doesn’t match the description of the suspect who only one witness saw.

In sworn affidavits, multiple people have also said that the man who has claimed to only have been the driver of the getaway vehicle has confessed to the murder.

Still, Jones’ conviction hasn’t been overturned, and he is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on November 18.