Clarifying the death penalty

House Speaker Pro Tempore Harold Wright has authored legislation to clarify how the Oklahoma Department of Corrections would choose the mode of execution in death penalty cases.

HB 1679 would eliminate the electric chair as a mode of execution while also establishing a hierarchy of execution methods:

  1. Lethal Injection
  2. Nitrogen Hypoxia
  3. Firing Squad
  4. All other forms not prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

“Essentially, we are getting rid of the electric chair due to costs and establishing a hierarchy for execution to provide clarity to our department of corrections officials,” said Wright, R-Weatherford. “This bill has little to do with the administration of the death penalty and more to do with the efficiency of government and our commitment to due process for both the inmate and the victim’s family.”