Capital punishment in Oklahoma

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Capital punishment is legal in the U.S. state of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma is one of the leading states in number of performed post-Furman executions, behind only Texas and Virginia,[1] and leading in number of executions per capita.[2] Oklahoma (until mid-2011) was the leader in executions per capita. Oklahoma was also the first state and the first jurisdiction in the world to adopt lethal injection as method of executions.[3] On December 16, 2010, Oklahoma became the first American state to use pentobarbital in the execution of John David Duty.[4]

Capital offenses[5][edit]

  • First-degree murder.[6]
    • A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.
    • A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building as provided in Section 1289.17A of this title, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.
    • A person commits murder in the first degree when the death of a child results from the willful or malicious injuring, torturing, maiming or using of unreasonable force by said person or who shall willfully cause, procure or permit any of said acts to be done upon the child pursuant to Section 7115 of Title 10 of the Oklahoma Statutes. It is sufficient for the crime of murder in the first degree that the person either willfully tortured or used unreasonable force upon the child maliciously injured or maimed the child.
    • A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought solicits another person or persons to cause the death of a human being in furtherance of unlawfully manufacturing, distributing or dispensing controlled dangerous substances, as defined in the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, unlawfully possessing with intent to distribute or dispense controlled dangerous substances, or trafficking in illegal drugs.
    • A person commits murder in the first degree when that person intentionally causes the death of a law enforcement officer or correctional officer while the officer is in the performance of official duties.

Kennedy v. Louisiana overturned the following capital statutes:

  • First-degree rape[7]
  • Extortionnate kidnapping[8]
  • Rape or forcible sodomy of a victim under 14 where the defendant had a prior conviction of sexual abuse of a person under 14[9]

Process[edit]

  • For a sentence of death to be imposed for first-degree murder, at least one or more aggravating circumstances must be found present or the aggravating factors must outweigh the mitigating circumstances:
    • The defendant was previously convicted of a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person.
    • The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person.
    • The person committed the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employed another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration.
    • The murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.
    • The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution.
    • The murder was committed by a person while serving a sentence of imprisonment on conviction of a felony.
    • The existence of a probability that the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society.

Otherwise, life imprisonment without parole or life imprisonment are the only sentences allowed.

As in any other state, per federal case law, people who are under 18 at the time of commission of the capital crime [10] or mentally retarded[11] are constitutionally precluded from being executed.

As in all jurisdictions, a sentence of death results in an automatic appeal. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals reviews the record to determine:

  • The legal and factual validity of the verdict.
  • Whether the sentence of death was imposed under the influence of passion, prejudice, or any other arbitrary factor.
  • Whether the evidence supports the jury's or judge's finding of a statutory aggravating circumstance as enumerated in Section 701.12 of this title.
  • In addition to its authority regarding correction of errors, the court, with regard to review of death sentences, shall be authorized to:
    • Affirm the sentence of death; or
    • Set the sentence aside and remand the case for resentencing by the trial court.

The sentence review shall be in addition to direct appeal, if taken, and the review and appeal shall be consolidated for consideration. The court shall render its decision on legal errors enumerated, the factual substantiation of the verdict, and the validity of the sentence.

Clemency[edit]

Under current statute the Governor may grant a commutation of the death sentence, but must have the Recommendation of Clemency From a Board or Advisory Group. The only post-Furman pardon was granted by former Gov. Brad Henry on May 13, 2004 to Osvaldo Torres.[12]

Henry explainted that it was important to remember that the actual shooter in these horrific murders was also sentenced to death and faces execution and that he concluded that there is a possibility a significant miscarriage of justice occurred... specifically that the violation of his Vienna Convention Rights contributed to trial counsel's ineffectiveness, that the jury did not hear significant evidence, and that the result of the trial is unreliable.[12]

In earlier years Governor Lee Cruce commuted every death sentence imposed during his administration (1911–1915).[12]

Method[edit]

Since executions resumed in 1990, lethal injection has been the standard method for execution. However if lethal injection is ever outlawed, the state has two optional methods outlined in its state constitution. The first is electrocution by electric chair, which was used before the national moratorium began in 1967, with shooting by firing squad as the second option should both lethal injection and electrocution be outlawed.[13]

List of individuals executed by the State of Oklahoma since 1976[edit]

A total of 111 individuals convicted of murder have been executed by the State of Oklahoma since 1976. All were executed by lethal injection.

# Executed person Date of execution Victim(s) Governor
1 Charles Troy Coleman 10 September 1990 John Seward Henry Bellmon
2 Robyn Leroy Parks 10 March 1992 Abdullah Ibrahim David Walters
3 Olan Randle Robinson 13 March 1992 Shiela Lovejoy, Robert Swinford
4 Thomas J. Grasso 20 March 1995 Hilda Johnson Frank Keating
5 Roger Dale Stafford 1 July 1995 Melvin Lorenz, Linda Lorenz, Richard Lorenz, Isaac Freeman, Louis Zacarias, Terri Horst, David Salsman, Anthony Tew, David Lindsey
6 Robert Allen Brecheen [14] 11 August 1995 Marie Stubbs
7 Benjamin Brewer 26 April 1996 Karen Joyce Stapleton
8 Steven Keith Hatch 9 August 1996 Richard Douglas, Marilyn Douglas
9 Scott Dawn Carpenter 7 May 1997 A.J. Kelley
10 Michael Edward Long 20 February 1998 Sheryl Graber, Andrew Graber
11 Stephen Edward Wood 5 August 1998 Robert B. Brigden
12 Tuan Anh Nguyen 10 December 1998 Amanda White, Joseph White
13 John Wayne Duvall 17 December 1998 Karla Duvall
14 John Walter Castro 7 January 1999 Beulah Grace, Sissons Cox, Rhonda Pappan
15 Sean Richard Sellers 4 February 1999 Paul Bellofatto, Vonda Bellofatto, Robert Bower
16 Scotty Lee Moore 3 June 1999 Alex Fernandez
17 Norman Lee Newsted 8 July 1999 Larry Buckley
18 Cornel Cooks 2 December 1999 Jennie Elva Ridling
19 Bobby Lynn Ross 9 December 1999 Steven Mahan, Elk City Police Departement
20 Malcolm Rent Johnson 6 January 2000 Ura Alma Thompson
21 Gary Alan Walker 13 January 2000 Eddie O. Cash, Valerie Shaw-Hartzell, Jane Hilburn, Janet Jewell, Margaret Bell Lydick, DeRonda Gay Roy
22 Michael Donald Roberts 10 February 2000 Lula Mae Brooks
23 Kelly Lamont Rogers 23 March 2000 Karen Marie Lauffenburger
24 Ronald Keith Boyd 27 April 2000 Officer Richard Oldham Riggs, Oklahoma City Police Department
25 Charles Adrian Foster 25 May 2000 Claude Wiley
26 James Glenn Rodebeaux 1 June 2000 Nancy Rose Lee McKinney
27 Roger James Berget 8 June 2000 Rick Lee Patterson
28 William Clifford Bryson 15 June 2000 James Earl Plantz
29 Gregg Francis Braun 10 August 2000 Gwendolyn Sue Miller, Barbara Kchendorfer, Mary Rains, Pete Spurrier, Geraldine Valdez
30 George Kent Wallace 10 August 2000 William Von Eric Domer, Mark Anthony McLaughlin
31 Eddie Leroy Trice 9 January 2001 Ernestine Jones
32 Wanda Jean Allen 11 January 2001 Gloria Jean Leathers
33 Floyd Allen Medlock 16 January 2001 Katherine Ann Busch
34 Dion Athansius Smallwood 18 January 2001 Lois Frederick
35 Mark Andrew Fowler 23 January 2001 John Barrier, Rick Cast, Chumpon Chaowasin
36 Billy Ray Fox 25 January 2001
37 Loyd Winford Lafevers 30 January 2001 Addie Mae Hawley
38 Dorsie Leslie Jones, Jr. 1 February 2001 Stanley Eugene Buck, Sr.
39 Robert William Clayton 1 March 2001 Rhonda Kay Timmons
40 Ronald Dunaway Fluke 27 March 2001 Ginger Lou Fluke, Kathryn Lee Fluke, Suzanna Michelle Fluke
41 Marilyn Kay Plantz 1 May 2001 James Earl Plantz
42 Terrance Anthony James 22 May 2001 Mark Allen Berry
43 Vincent Allen Johnson 29 May 2001 Shirley Mooneyham
44 Jerald Wayne Harjo 17 July 2001 Ruther Porter
45 Jack Dale Walker 28 August 2001 Shely Deann Ellison, Donald Gary Epperson
46 Alvie James Hale, Jr. 18 October 2001 William Jeffery Perry
47 Lois Nadean Smith 4 December 2001 Cindy Baillee
48 Sahib Lateef Al-Mosawi 6 December 2001 Inaam Al-Nashi, Mohamed Al-Nashi
49 David Wayne Woodruff 21 January 2002 Roger Joel Sarfaty, Lloyd Thompson
50 John Joseph Romano 29 January 2002
51 Randall Eugene Cannon 23 July 2002 Addie Mae Hawley
52 Earl Alexander Frederick, Sr. 30 July 2002 Bradford Lee Beck
53 Jerry Lynn McCracken[15] 10 December 2002 Tyrrell Lee Boyd, Steve Allen Smith, Timothy Edward Sheets, Carol Ann McDaniels
54 Jay Wesley Neill 12 December 2002 Kay Bruno, Jerri Bowles, Joyce Mullenix, Ralph Zeller
55 Ernest Marvin Carter, Jr. 17 December 2002 Eugene Mankowski
56 Daniel Juan Revilla 16 January 2003 Mark Gomez Brad Henry
57 Bobby Joe Fields 13 February 2003 Louise J. Schem
58 Walanzo Deon Robinson 18 March 2003 Dennis Eugene Hill
59 John Michael Hooker 25 March 2003 Sylvia Stokes, Durcilla Morgan
60 Scott Hain 3 April 2003 Michael William Houghton, Laura Lee Sanders
61 Don Wilson Hawkins, Jr. 8 April 2003 Linda Ann Thompson
62 Larry Kenneth Jackson 17 April 2003 Wendy Cade
63 Robert Wesley Knighton 27 May 2003 Richard Denney, Virginia Denney
64 Kenneth Chad Charm 5 June 2003 Brandy Crystian Hill
65 Lewis Eugene Gilbert II 1 July 2003 Roxanne Lynn Ruddell
66 Robert Don Duckett 8 July 2003 John E. Howard
67 Bryan Anthony Toles 22 July 2003 Juan Franceschi, Lonnie Franceschi
68 Jackie Lee Willingham 24 July 2003 Jayne Ellen Van Wey
69 Harold Loyd McElmurry III 29 July 2003 Rosa Vivien Pendley, Robert Pendley
70 Tyrone Peter Darks 13 January 2004 Sherry Goodlow
71 Norman Richard Cleary 17 February 2004 Wanda Neafus
72 David Jay Brown 9 March 2004 Eldon Lee McGuire
73 Hung Thanh Le 23 March 2004 Hai Hong Nguyen
74 Robert Leroy Bryan 8 June 2004 Mildred Inabell Bryan
75 Windel Ray Workman 26 August 2004 Amanda Hollman
76 Jimmie Ray Slaughter 15 March 2005 Melody Sue Wuertz, Jessica Rae Wuertz
77 George James Miller, Jr. 12 May 2005 Gary Kent Dodd
78 Michael Lannier Pennington 19 July 2005 Bradley Thomas Grooms
79 Kenneth Eugene Turrentine 11 August 2005 Avon Stevenson, Anita Richardson, Tina Pennington, Martise Richardson
80 Richard Alford Thornburg, Jr. 18 April 2006 Jim Poteet, Terry Shepard, Kevin Smith
81 John Albert Boltz 1 June 2006 Doug Kirby
82 Eric Allen Patton 29 August 2006 Charlene Kauer
83 James Patrick Malicoat 31 August 2006 Tessa Leadford
84 Corey Duane Hamilton 9 January 2007 Joseph Gooch, Theodore Kindley, Senaida Lara, Steven Williams
85 Jimmy Dale Bland 26 June 2007 Doyle Windle Rains
86 Frank Duane Welch 21 August 2007 Jo Talley Cooper, Debra Anne Stevens
87 Terry Lyn Short[16] 17 June 2008 Ken Yamamoto
88 Jessie Cummings 25 September 2008 Melissa Moody
89 Darwin Brown 22 January 2009 Richard Yost
90 Donald Gilson 14 May 2009 Shane Coffman
91 Michael DeLozier 9 July 2009 Orville Lewis Bullard, Paul Steven Morgan
92 Julius Ricardo Young 14 January 2010 Joyland Morgan, Kewan Morgan
93 Donald Ray Wackerly II 14 October 2010 Pan Sayakhoummane
94 John David Duty 16 December 2010 Curtis Wise
95 Billy Don Alverson 6 January 2011 Richard Kevin Yost
96 Jeffrey David Matthews 11 January 2011 Otis Earl Short Mary Fallin
97 Gary Welch 5 January 2012 Robert Dean Hardcastle
98 Timothy Shaun Stemple 15 March 2012 Trisha Stemple
99 Michael Selsor 1 May 2012 Clayton Chandler
100 Michael Hooper 14 August 2012 Cynthia Jarman, Tonya Jarman, and Timmy Jarman
101 Garry Thomas Allen 6 November 2012 Gail Titsworth
102 George Ochoa 4 December 2012 Francisco Morales, Maria Yanez
103 Steven Ray Thacker [17] 12 March 2013 Laci Dawn Hill, Forrest Reed Boyd, Ray Patterson[18]
104 James Lewis DeRosa 18 June 2013 Curtis Plummer, Gloria Plummer
105 Brian Darrell Davis 25 June 2013 Josephine Sanford
106 Anthony Rozelle Banks 10 September 2013 Sun "Kim" Travis
107 Ronald Clinton Lott 10 December 2013 Anna Laura Fowler, Zelma Cutler
108 Johnny Dale Black 17 December 2013 Bill Pogue
109 Michael Lee Wilson 9 January 2014 Richard Yost
110 Kenneth Eugene Hogan 23 January 2014 Lisa Stanley
111 Clayton Darrell Lockett 29 April 2014 Stephanie Neiman

†Clayton Lockett's execution was halted 33 minutes after it started following the discovery that the vein being used to inject the three drug cocktail had collapsed impeded the proper injection of the drug cocktail. Even with the execution stopped Lockett died of a heart attack. Later it was revealed that Lockett was tasered after refusing to being restrained and escorted to a medical room for an X-ray exam as part of the protocol leading up to his execution. During his medical exam officials found a cut on his right arm but staff determined that sutures were not needed. It was also revealed that Lockett refused food and water leading up to his execution. [19]

Historical background[edit]

From 1841 to 1966, 132 people were executed in Oklahoma: 42 prior to statehood and 90 since.[20] One of them Arthur Gooch, was executed by the federal government for kidnapping. Hanging was used by the state until 1911. From 1915 to 1966 the electric chair became the sole method of execution.[21] The federal death row inmate Gooch, however, was hanged in 1936. Only one woman was executed in Oklahoma in pre-Furman period (Dora Wright, a black domestic servant, was hanged on July 17, 1903, before statehood). Oklahoma performed its last pre-Furman electrocution with James French (1966).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Executions in the United States, 1608-1976, By State
  2. ^ State Execution Rates
  3. ^ A Guilty Man
  4. ^ Mims, Divina (December 16, 2010). "Death row inmate executed using pentobarbital in lethal injection". CNN. Retrieved December 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty
  6. ^ O.S. 21-701.7.
  7. ^ 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 1114 and 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 1115
  8. ^ 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 745(A)
  9. ^ 10 Okl. St. Ann. § 7115(I)
  10. ^ Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)
  11. ^ Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
  12. ^ a b c Clemency
  13. ^ Methods of Execution
  14. ^ BRANSTETTER, ZIVA (November 11, 2007). "Oklahoma rides the roller coaster with death penalty laws". Tulsa World. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Jerry Lynn McCracken". clarkprosecutor.org. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Terry Lyn Short executed". Associated Press. June 17, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Oklahoma executes man convicted in 10 day rampage that left 3 people dead in three states". Associated Press. March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 13, 2013. 
  18. ^ Thacker was executed for Hill's murder, which took place in Oklahoma; the other two victims were killed in Missouri (for which Thacker received a life sentence) and Tennessee (for which Thacker received a death sentence), respectively.
  19. ^ http://www.newson6.com/story/25405844/oklahoma-death-row-inmate-tasered-had-self-inflicted-wounds-day-of-execution.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ Regional Studies The Southwest
  21. ^ [1][dead link]

External links[edit]