| OKLAHOMA CITY, March 17
OKLAHOMA CITY, March 17 Oklahoma, as of Monday,
did not have the drugs needed to conduct an execution scheduled
for this week but aims to obtain chemicals for the lethal
injection by the time the death sentence is to be implemented on
Thursday, officials said.
Several states, including Oklahoma, have had difficulty
getting drugs used in the lethal injections after pharmaceutical
companies, especially in Europe, clamped down on sales for
executions due to opposition to capital punishment.
According to court documents filed by the state on Monday,
the Oklahoma Department of Corrections "remains without the
drugs to carry out the lawful sentences of death" for two
inmates the state plans to execute this month.
Attorneys for inmates Clayton Lockett, who is scheduled to
be executed on Thursday, and Charles Warner, who is scheduled to
be executed on March 27, requested their death sentences be put
on hold due to uncertainty over the drugs.
The state attorney general's office would not speculate on
what would happen if the drugs were not found by the time
Lockett is due to be executed.
"The Attorney General's Office is exhausting all available
options to ensure the punishment for this heinous crime is
carried out," spokesman Aaron Cooper said in a statement.
Lockett was convicted for the 1999 shooting death of a
19-year-old woman. The victim was among those who were kidnapped
by three attackers, including Lockett, and buried in a shallow
Oklahoma uses three main drugs to carry out its executions,
the sedative pentobarbital, vecuronium bromide, which stops
respiration, and potassium chloride, which stops the heart,
according to the state's department of corrections.
Several U.S. states, including Missouri, Ohio, Florida and
Georgia have been turning to lightly regulated compounding
pharmacies for drugs to use in lethal injections after
pharmaceutical companies stopped allowing sales of their drugs
Advocates for inmates in several states have launched court
challenges saying the compounding pharmacy drugs can lack purity
and potency and cause undue suffering that violates the U.S.
Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; editing by Andrew Hay)