The Frontier: Gov.’s Attorney Wanted Wrong Drug Used In Execution, Knew It Had Been Used Before

Thursday, May 19th 2016, 9:28 pm
By: News On 6

“Google it.”

That was the advice of Gov. Mary Fallin’s former general counsel, Steve Mullins, to the Oklahoma’s Attorney General’s office during a heated debate in September 2015 about whether one fatal drug could be legally substituted for another, mere hours before the state was supposed to execute inmate Richard Glossip.

Mullins told the AG’s office that “filing a motion to stay would look bad for the State of Oklahoma because potassium acetate had already been used” in the January 2015 execution of Charles Warner, according to a multicounty grand jury report released Thursday.

5/19/2016 Related Story: Grand Jury Investigating Oklahoma Executions Delivers Report

The grand jury’s report makes it clear that officials in Gov. Mary Fallin’s office knew the wrong drug was used in Warner’s execution and Mullins openly advocated for repeating the illegal drug substitution before Glossip’s execution was ultimately stayed.

The multicounty grand jury found that Oklahoma Department of Corrections was following a “vague and poorly drafted” protocol, which happens to be same “revised” protocol that the state spent months studying and revamping in the wake of the 2014 botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt issued a statement after the report was released: “Today, I regret to advise the citizens of Oklahoma that the Department of Corrections failed to do its job. As is evident in the report from the multicounty grand jury, a number of individuals responsible for carrying out the execution process were careless, cavalier and in some circumstances dismissive of established procedures that were intended to guard against the very mistakes that occurred… When the state fails to do its job in carrying out an execution, the ability to dispense justice is impaired for all.  This must never happen again.”

Fallin’s office declined to comment Thursday on any specific aspects of the grand jury report, instead opting to issue a statement saying the governor would “need time to analyze it.”

This is an abridged version of a story written by News On 6's partner, The Frontier. For the full version visit their website.