Oklahoma plans mass death penalty spree for inmates despite fears of ‘errors’
An American state is set to execute 25 inmates on death row with fears "errors" will be made including bungling executions and putting to death innocent prisoners.
Oklahoma has announced plans to execute 25 inmates over the next 29 months, writes The Hill.
The first person to be put do death will do so by lethal injection on August 25 with subsequent executions every four weeks.
READ MORE: Man on death row in Singapore escapes execution because of a dead hamster
If Oklahoma sticks to this schedule, more than half of the inmates currently on its death row will be dead by the end of 2024.
The state’s planned execution spree is unprecedented in its history, but it rivals similar ones in states like Texas and Arkansas.
There are fears errors will be made in the rush to execute the convicted men on death row.
Fears include sentencing to death disabled or mentally ill prisoners, botched executions, proceedings where legal representations have been inadequate and executing those who were innocent in the first place.
Since 1976, Oklahoma is second only to Texas in the number of people it has executed.
Over the course of its history, Oklahoma executed a total of 196 men and three women between 1915 and 2022.
But in the five years between the start of 2016 and the end of 2020, it put no one to death.
Its executions were put on hold following 2014’s horribly botched execution of Clayton Lockett and Richard Glossip’s near miss in September, 2015, when state officials halted his execution after they realised that they were about to lethally inject him with the wrong drug.
Oklahoma executions resumed in 2021 when two inmates were put to death, including John Grant who convulsed multiple times and vomited before dying in October of last year. Two other inmates have been executed so far this year.
Shortly after a federal district judge found the state’s execution protocol to be constitutional last month, Oklahoma’s attorney general requested the Court of Criminal Appeals to set the execution dates for 25 death row inmates.
He urged the court to provide justice for the families whose loved ones were murdered by setting execution dates on an accelerated schedule.
Over the last 25 years, Texas set the standard for mass processing executions.
Every year, from 1997-2015, the state put at least 10 people to death. And in some years, its execution totals were in the several dozens.
In 1997 it averaged more than three executions a month, and in 2000, it put 40 people to death.
Texas was able to carry out executions in bulk by ignoring serious problems that plagued its death penalty system.
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