LETHAL MISTAKES

One of the busiest death chambers in the US is fine-tuning its executions

Oklahoma holds one of the busiest death chambers in the US, but for the third year in a row, it has not carried out an execution.

The state—one of more than 30 in the US that has the death penalty—isn’t dialing back on the number of inmates it condemns to death. Instead, prison officials and state attorneys are trying to fine-tune its execution procedures after a series of blunders.

A number of botched executions resulted in 2014 being dubbed the worst year in history for the lethal injection. In 2015, Oklahoma used a wrong drug in its lethal-injection cocktail to execute Charles Warner—the first known instance of such a mix-up in the US. That same year, an inmate was moments away from execution before officials realized its lethal injection also had the wrong formula.

In a statement given to the Associated Press, Republican governor Mary Fallin said the “most solemn responsibility for a state is the taking of a life.”

“The state needs to be certain that its protocols and procedures for executions work,” she added while throwing support behind Oklahoma’s attorney general and Department of Corrections director to carry out these changes.

Currently, 47 of the total 2,817 death-row inmates awaiting execution in the US are in Oklahoma.

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