Grand Jury: Lawyer backed use of wrong drug in execution

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — An Oklahoma grand jury investigating the state's execution procedures says a top lawyer for Gov. Mary Fallin encouraged the use of the wrong lethal injection drug in an execution that was later called off.

READ: Full Grand Jury report here
The grand jury did not issue any indictments Thursday in its investigation, but said that Steve Mullins "felt comfortable proceeding" with the execution of Richard Glossip even though the state had received potassium acetate, rather than potassium chloride.

Sister Hele Prejean, an anti-death penalty activist, released the following statement on Twitter:

Glossip's execution was scheduled for Sept. 30 but it was halted by Fallin.

Governor Fallin released a statement Thursday evening:

"I want to thank Attorney General Scott Pruitt, his staff and the grand jurors for their time and effort on this important matter. At my direction, my office cooperated with the grand jury's investigation in all respects. Because I just received the report, I will need time to analyze it.

"When the state of Oklahoma carries out the death penalty, we must ensure that the process is appropriate and in full compliance with the law. It is imperative that Oklahoma be able to manage the execution process properly. With new management at the Department of Corrections, led by Interim Director Joe Allbaugh, I am confident we can move forward with a process that complies with the applicable policies, protocols and legal requirements."

Mullins resigned in February as Fallin's general counsel. At the time, he said his doctor had told him to "better control the stress in my life," and that he wanted to help the governor save on personnel costs in her office.


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