By Abigail Ogle
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOCO) — Oklahoma’s new attorney general announced on Thursday he wants executions to resume soon in the state. This includes one of the highest-profile cases our state has seen in a while — Julius Jones.
Jones was convicted of murdering Edmond businessman Paul Howell in 1999. He maintains his innocence. There have been hit documentaries about this case and celebrities, athletes, activists have all come to Jones’ defense.
But now, Attorney General John O’Connor has asked the court of criminal appeals to set execution dates for Jones and six other inmates.
The death penalty in Oklahoma has been on hold for several years after Clayton Lockett’s botched execution in 2014 and the state using the wrong drugs to put Charles Warner to death in 2015.
O’Connor said it’s time to resume the death penalty, saying thoughts remain with the victims’ families that they have waited decades for justice for horrific crimes their loved ones suffered.
The first date O’Connor is asking the court of criminal appeals is just six weeks away, Oct. 7. Death row inmate John Grant is convicted of killing a prison kitchen worker at the Dick Connor Correctional Center.
O’Connor requested Oct. 28 as the execution date for Julius Jones. However, Jones has a commutation hearing next month.
O’Connor requested Nov. 18 for Bigler Stouffer, who murdered a Putnam City teacher in 1985.
He requested Dec. 9 for Wade Lay, who killed a Tulsa security guard in 2004.
O’Connor requested Dec. 30 for Donald Grant’s execution. He murdered two women who worked at a motel in Del City.
He requested Jan. 20 for Gilbert Postelle, who killed four people in 2005.
And lastly, there is a requested date of Feb. 10 for inmate James Coddington, convicted of a 1997 murder.
According to the Associated Press, an attorney for some of the inmates said, “The drug protocol that was problematic seven years ago is the same one the state seeks to use again,” adding there are unresolved questions about the state’s protocol and thus Oklahoma should not move forward with executions.
It’s now in the hands of the court of criminal appeals.
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