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Oklahoma court agrees to 6-month stay of execution

•  Court News     updated  2014/05/09 13:00

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals agreed Thursday to a six-month stay of execution for a death row inmate while an investigation is conducted into last week's botched lethal injection.

The court reset the execution date of inmate Charles Warner to Nov. 13. Warner's attorneys requested the 180-day delay, and the state Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday in a court filing he wouldn't object.

While the stay only applies to Warner, Pruitt and Gov. Mary Fallin have said the state will not carry out any executions until the investigation is complete, which is expected to take at least eight weeks.

"If the state is allowed to enforce the ultimate penalty of death, it is incumbent upon this court to allow the state the time necessary to ensure that the penalty is carried out in a constitutionally sound manner," Justice Charles Johnson wrote in a specially concurring opinion.

Warner was scheduled for execution on the same night last week as Clayton Lockett in what would have been the state's first double execution since 1937. But Lockett's vein collapsed during his lethal injection, prompting prison officials to halt the execution. He later died of a heart attack.

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