Oklahoma officials say the seven inmates scheduled to be executed have exhausted all of the appeals and that no further legal impediments to their executions remain, state judges said.
Additionally, the inmates last month who had joined a lawsuit challenging the state’s lethal injection protocols were dropped because they did not designate an alternative method of execution to the three-drug combination that the state plans on using.
“Based upon a thorough review of the record before this Court, we find that the setting of execution dates in these cases is now appropriate and required” due to state law, Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals Judges Scott Rowland, Robert Judson, Gary Lumpkin, and David Lewis wrote in the scheduling order.
John Marion Grant, convicted of first-degree murder for killing Gay Carter, a food service supervisor at a correctional center in Hominy, in 1998, is scheduled to be executed on Oct. 28.
Julius Darius Jones, convicted of capital murder in the 1999 shooting death of businessman Paul Howell in Edmond, is set for execution on Nov. 18.
Bigler Jobe Stouffer, convicted in the 1985 murder of teacher Linda Reaves and attempted murder of Doug Ivens, is scheduled to be executed on Dec. 9.
Wade Green Lay, convicted in the 2004 murder of security guard Kenney Anderson, is set to be executed on Jan. 6, 2022.
Donald Anthony Grant, Gilbert Ray Postelle, and James Allen Coddington are also scheduled for execution next year.
Oklahoma Attorney General John O’Conner had asked in August for the court to schedule the executions.
“The seven inmates to be scheduled for execution were convicted of heinous crimes. They either didn’t challenge the protocol or offer an alternative method of execution,” O’Connor said in a statement at the time. “In 2016, two-thirds of Oklahomans voted to insert capital punishment into the constitution. My job as the state’s chief law enforcement officer is to enforce the laws of the state of Oklahoma.”
Oklahoma voters passed a ballot measure that disallowed state courts from declaring the death penalty against the state’s Constitution.
Amanda Bass, a lawyer for Jones, said in a statement to news outlets that he is innocent and that she hopes Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, a Republican, adopts the recommendation from the state’s Pardon and Parole Board to commute the death sentence.
Stitt and other state officials announced last year plans to resume execution by lethal injection after halting executions due to issues with drugs used. State officials said they found a reliable supply of drugs needed for their updated protocol.
“It is important that the state is implementing our death penalty law with a procedure that is humane and swift for those convicted of the most heinous of crimes,” Stitt said at the time.