Capital punishment in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is one of the leading states in number of performed post-Furman executions, behind only Texas and Virginia, and leading in number of executions per capita. 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. On December 16, 2010, Oklahoma became the first American state to use pentobarbital in the execution of John David Duty.
Oklahoma put scheduled executions on hold until the Department of Corrections implements 11 proposed improvements in protocols governing capital punishment. The review of the lethal injection administration process resulted from an Oklahoma inmate's April execution case in which a doctor and a paramedic failed nearly a dozen times to administer an IV with lethal drugs.
- First-degree murder.
- 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
- Extortionnate kidnapping
- Rape or forcible sodomy of a victim under 14 where the defendant had a prior conviction of sexual abuse of a person under 14
- 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In September 2014, State Representative Mike Christian proposed an alternative method - nitrogen gas. Gas would induce "nitrogen hypoxia" that is according to Christian both painless and less costly than lethal injection. American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma opposed the proposal.
List of individuals executed by the State of Oklahoma since 1976
|#||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 ||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||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||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 ||12 March 2013||Laci Dawn Hill, Forrest Reed Boyd, Ray Patterson|
|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. 
From 1841 to 1966, 132 people were executed in Oklahoma: 42 prior to statehood and 90 since. 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. 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).
- List of women executed in the United States since 1976
- List of wrongful convictions in the United States
- List of exonerated death row inmates
- List of United States death row inmates
- Executions in the United States, 1608-1976, By State
- State Execution Rates
- A Guilty Man
- Mims, Divina (December 16, 2010). "Death row inmate executed using pentobarbital in lethal injection". CNN. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
- Brandes, Heidi (5 September 2014). "Oklahoma to halt execution until new protocols in place: governor". Reuters. Retrieved 10 September 2014.
- Crimes Punishable by the Death Penalty
- O.S. 21-701.7.
- 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 1114 and 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 1115
- 21 Okl. St. Ann. § 745(A)
- 10 Okl. St. Ann. § 7115(I)
- Roper v. Simmons, 543 U.S. 551 (2005)
- Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002)
- Methods of Execution
- Brandes, Heide. "Oklahoma lawmaker proposes nitrogen gas for executions". Retrieved 16 September 2014.
- BRANSTETTER, ZIVA (November 11, 2007). "Oklahoma rides the roller coaster with death penalty laws". Tulsa World. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "Jerry Lynn McCracken". clarkprosecutor.org. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "Terry Lyn Short executed". Associated Press. June 17, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2012.
- "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.
- 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.
- http://www.newson6.com/story/25405844/oklahoma-death-row-inmate-tasered-had-self-inflicted-wounds-day-of-execution. Missing or empty
- Regional Studies The Southwest
- [dead link]
- Death Row – Oklahoma Department of Corrections
- U.S. Executions Since 1976 – The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney