Attorney General Scott Pruitt agreed with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Glossip v. Gross that upheld as constitutional Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol.
“The state of Oklahoma is vested with the authority to carry out the sentence of death handed out by juries for the most heinous of crimes. State officials act deliberately and thoughtfully in carrying out this responsibility. This marks the eighth time a court has reviewed and upheld as constitutional the lethal injection protocol used by Oklahoma. The Court’s ruling preserves the ability of the Department of Corrections to proceed with carrying out the punishment of death. The state appreciates the justices’ thoughtful consideration of these important issues. I also want to thank Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick and the entire trial team at the Attorney General’s Office for their outstanding legal work in arguing and winning this case before the highest court in the land,” Pruitt said.
The U.S. Supreme Court granted the state of Oklahoma’s request to stay executions pending the outcome of this case. The stay was dissolved when the Court released its opinion.
The Attorney General’s Office, pursuant to state law, will notify the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals that the court is now able to set execution dates for Richard Glossip, John Marion Gran, and Benjamin Robert Cole.
“The families in these three cases have waited a combined 48 years for justice. Now that the legal issues have been settled, the state can proceed with ensuring that justice is served for the victims of these horrible and tragic crimes,” Pruitt said.
“I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to preserve the states’ ability to implement capital punishment for the most heinous of crimes,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma. “This ruling delivers justice in the case of individuals who brutally and callously murdered their victims, such as the nine-month-old whose spine was snapped, an 11-month-old who was raped and then murdered, an innocent coworker who was beat to death with a baseball bat, and a corrections officer who was stabbed to death.”
Governor Mary Fallin said, “The Constitution is clearly not intended to prohibit the death penalty by lethal injection or the use of the sedative midazolam. I appreciate the court’s ruling, which upholds the letter and the spirit of the law as it is written. My thanks go out to Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Solicitor General Patrick Wyrick and their legal team for aggressively and successfully representing the state on this issue.”