Oklahoma executed Donald Grant this morning, less than 24 hours after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a stay on Wednesday afternoon. He was killed by lethal injection. Grant was sentenced to death for killing two hotel workers during a robbery in 2001.
Although Oklahoma has a history of botched executions, initial reports indicate there were no serious physical problems with Donald Grant’s. AP reporter Sean Murphy said Grant spoke for a long time before his microphone was turned off, and appeared to be crying before being put to death.
After a six-year hiatus imposed as a result of two bungled, torturous executions — Clayton Lockett in 2014, and Charles Warner in 2015 — followed by a grand jury investigation and a federal lawsuit that is still pending, the state nevertheless resumed executions in October, and proceeded to botch the execution of of John Grant, who witnesses said died after severe vomiting and full-body convulsions. Bigler Stouffer was then executed in December, apparently without complications.
This was Oklahoma’s first execution this year. The next execution is scheduled for February 17, when the state plans to kill Gilbert Postelle, whose appeal for a stay was also denied by the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
The federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state’s three-drug lethal injection protocol is scheduled to be heard this month.
There are 45 men and one woman on Oklahoma’s death row.