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Oklahoma lethal injection, executions: State to resume practice



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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma will resume executions by the lethal injection method, officials said Thursday.

The surprise announcement came at a news conference by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General Mike Hunter and Corrections Department Director Scott Crow.

Efforts will continue to develop a way to carry out the punishment with nitrogen gas, officials said. However, the law allowing the state to develop a method using nitrogen gas only allows nitrogen to be used if the drugs for lethal injection are unavailable.

It has been more than five years since the last execution in the state. The death penalty still has widespread support in Oklahoma despite the national ridicule that followed an injection mistake in 2014 and drug mix-ups in 2015.

“It is important that the state is implementing our death penalty law with a procedure that is humane and swift for those convicted of the most heinous of crimes,” Gov. Stitt said. “Director Crow and Attorney General Mike Hunter have worked diligently and thoroughly to create a path forward to resume the death penalty in Oklahoma, and the time has come to deliver accountability and justice to the victims who have suffered unthinkable loss and pain.”



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