(NewsReady.com) – Oklahoma has a handful of executions planned in the near future, and the inmates were trying to prevent their sentences from being carried out. A court recently ruled in favor of the state. But in a twist, the GOP governor stopped one of them from taking place despite the ruling.
On November 12, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a request to stay the executions of Wade Lay, Julius Jones, Donald Grant, and Gilbert Postelle. The inmates argued that the use of the sedative midazolam, one of the drugs used for lethal injection, causes extreme pain, therefore it violated their constitutional rights. The court rejected the arguments and allowed the executions to move forward.
In a twist, Governor Kevin Stitt (R) commuted Jones’ sentence on November 18, hours before his execution was slated to take place.
After prayerful consideration and reviewing materials presented by all sides of this case, I have determined to commute Julius Jones’ sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.https://t.co/fLsnYnxInw
— Governor Kevin Stitt (@GovStitt) November 18, 2021
Stitt commuted the sentence after a recommendation by the parole board. There are serious questions about whether Jones actually committed the murder he was convicted of carrying out. The convict’s attorneys are trying to get a new trial. If that doesn’t take place, Jones will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.
As for the others, Wade Lay is set to have his execution carried out on January 6, 2022. A judge sentenced him for the 2004 death of Tulsa security guard Kenney Anderson. Donald Grant, convicted of the 2001 murders of Suzette Smith and Brenda McElyea, will be put to death on January 27, 2022. Finally, Gilbert Postelle, who was convicted of killing four people in 2005, is set for execution on February 17, 2022.
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