Federal Court Denies Claim Over Oklahoma’s Execution Procedure

Tuesday, August 8th 2006, 2:00 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal judge has denied an inmate's claim that Oklahoma's lethal injection procedure doesn't guarantee that prisoners don't suffer pain during the process.

Judge Stephen Friot's ruling came after hearing testimony from anesthesiology experts Tuesday about the protocol.

Charlie Price of the Oklahoma Attorney General's office says Friot didn't even hear from witnesses from the state's side before making his decision in the case of Eric Allen Patton.

Patton is set to die by lethal injection August 29th for killing a woman during a burglary.

Friot had suggested that the two sides in the lawsuit might be able to agree to something without continuing litigation after hearing that the Corrections Department had proposed a new execution protocol.

But testimony continued after federal public defender Susan Otto, who represents Patton, says Oklahoma's new procedure wouldn't fix the problem.

In Oklahoma executions, a drug is administered to put the inmate to sleep, another one is given to stop that person's breathing and another is given to stop the heart.