6-month stay sought in delayed Oklahoma execution

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Attorneys for an Oklahoma inmate scheduled to be put to death the same night as a botched execution asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Monday to grant a stay for at least six months pending a review into what went wrong last week.

Attorneys for Charles Warner cited last Tuesday's execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney and moaned before being pronounced dead of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes after the execution began.

"Given the Department of Corrections' recognition that it is in no position to carry out an execution that meets constitutional requirements, an indefinite stay is necessary," said Madeline Cohen, one of Warner's attorneys. "I think six months is the bare minimum that could be contemplated."

The stay should be granted "until evidence can be provided to counsel for Warner that the state of Oklahoma can carry out a humane, constitutional execution."

Warner, who was convicted of raping and killing an 11-month-old in 1997, has maintained his innocence. He was scheduled to die last week two hours after Lockett, but Gov. Mary Fallin issued a two-week stay pending a thorough inquiry into Lockett's execution. Fallin also has said she is willing to extend her stay for up to 60 days, the maximum length she is allowed under state law.

Last Tuesday was the first time Oklahoma used the sedative midazolam as the first element in its execution drug combination. Other states have used it before; Florida administers 500 milligrams as part of its three-drug combination. Oklahoma used 100 milligrams.

A report issued last week by Oklahoma's Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton detailing Lockett's last day of life said Lockett had self-inflicted wounds on his arm, and the execution team was unable to find suitable veins in his arms, legs and neck. An IV was inserted into Lockett's groin area and the execution began.