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Stays sought for two killers because of botched Oklahoma execution

Texas official says state's execution protocol does not have the same problems that appear to exist in Oklahoma.

By
Frances Burns
Texas Governor Rick Perry at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), on March 7 in National Harbor, Maryland. UPI/Molly Riley
Texas Governor Rick Perry at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), on March 7 in National Harbor, Maryland. UPI/Molly Riley | License Photo

OKLAHOMA CITY, May 6 (UPI) -- Two inmates, one in Oklahoma and the other in Texas, are seeking stays because of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Charles Frederick Warner was scheduled to be put to death in Oklahoma last week two hours after Lockett. His execution was immediately postponed for two weeks, and his lawyers asked the state court of criminal appeals Monday for a six-month stay.

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In Texas, lawyers for Robert James Campbell cited the problems with Lockett's execution in an appeal to a federal court in Houston. They said Texas has adopted a secrecy policy that means they do not have adequate information on the drugs to be used.

"These compounding pharmacies operate outside of FDA oversight, making it impossible to know if the drugs have been properly prepared and tested in order to ensure the execution will be carried out in a manner that comports with the Constitution," Maurie Levin, a professor at the University of Texas, said in court papers.

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Lockett died of a heart attack April 29, 43 minutes after the process began. Officials had halted the execution 10 minutes before he was pronounced dead, saying the drugs were not reaching his veins.

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Warner is currently scheduled to die May 13 for raping and killing his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter in 1997.

“It is clear that the Department of Corrections, the agency in charge of carrying out executions in Oklahoma, believes it requires an indefinite stay until the protocol can be reviewed and changed, and staff properly trained,” his lawyers said, citing a recommendation from the agency's director for a moratorium on executions.

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Campbell is also scheduled for execution May 13. He was convicted of kidnapping, raping and killing a young Houston bank teller, Alexandra Rendon, in 1991.

"Texas does not use the same drugs," Robert Hurst, a spokesman for the state prison system, told 1200 WOAI news. "We use a single lethal dose of pentobarbital and have done so since 2012."

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, in an appearance Sunday on "Meet the Press," also defended the state protocol.

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"And the process of the actual execution I will suggest to you is very different from Oklahoma. We only use one drug but I’m confident that the way that the executions are taken care of in the state of Texas are appropriate and humane,” he said.

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