AP

Oklahoma used wrong drug labels during recent executions

Mar 4, 2022, 5:42 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma has used the wrong drug labels during at least three recent executions, prison officials said Friday during testimony in a federal trial on whether the state’s three-drug lethal injection method is unconstitutional.

Despite the improper labels, Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow and his chief of operations, Justin Farris, both testified that they were confident the proper drugs were used during each of the executions.

“I am 100% confident that all executions have used the proper drugs,” Crow told U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot.

Farris said the labels read “rocuronium bromide” instead of “vecuronium bromide,” which is a paralytic and the second of three drugs used in Oklahoma’s method. Farris said he believes the “rocuronium bromide” labels were used in training exercises and were never replaced.

Both drugs are similar paralytics, and Oklahoma’s execution protocols authorize the use of rocuronium bromide, although the protocols require prison officials to notify inmates if they intend to substitute any of the drugs.

Friot, who has held numerous hearings dating back years scrutinizing problems with Oklahoma’s execution protocols, seemed surprised that such a mix-up could occur.

“After all we’ve been through … surely that was bordering on inconceivable to you?” Friot asked Crow.

“Yes, sir. It was,” Crow responded. “I was not at all happy about that development.”

Crow said the department is looking into why the improper labels were used and that it expects to issue a report soon.

With an inmate moments from being led to the death chamber in September 2015, executions were halted after prison officials learned the wrong drug had been delivered for the lethal injection. It was later learned that the same wrong drug had been used to execute another inmate in January of that year. That led to a nearly seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

After a series of lengthy court cases, Oklahoma resumed lethal injections in October and has carried out three more since. The 28 death row inmates who are challenging the state’s three-drug method as unconstitutional have all exhausted their appeals, and are likely to be scheduled for executions if Friot determines Oklahoma’s current protocols are constitutional.

During five days of testimony this week, Friot has heard from numerous experts in pharmacology and anesthesiology who have offered different opinions on whether the first drug used in Oklahoma’s protocol, the sedative midazolam, is appropriate to ensure an inmate cannot feel pain during the rest of the procedure.

A final day of testimony is expected on Monday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public Monday.

2 days ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

2 days ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

2 days ago

Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements in his criminal trial for allegedly covering u...

Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York over alleged hush money payments started with opening statements on Monday.

2 days ago

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

5 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Oklahoma used wrong drug labels during recent executions