Donald Grant, 46, was injected with a cocktail of three lethal substances suspected of causing excruciating pain. An African-American man, sentenced to death for a double murder, received a lethal injection in Oklahoma on Thursday, January 27, becoming the first prisoner to be executed in 2022 in the United States.
Black prisoner to be executed for the first time in 2022 in the U.S
The Southern state “executed Donald Grant without complication at 10:16 this morning” (16:16 GMT), wrote its attorney general, John M.
O’Connor, in a statement posted on Facebook.
The 40-year-old man, whose last words were barely intelligible, succumbed after being injected with three substances at McAlester Penitentiary.
The cocktail has been accused of causing unbearable suffering to convicts, which is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution. In late October, one inmate had been shaken by convulsions and had vomited repeatedly after the first injection.
None of that happened Thursday, witnesses to the execution reported at a brief press conference.
In 2001, Donald Grant, then 25, robbed a hotel to steal bail from his jailed girlfriend. During the attack, he opened fire on two employees of the establishment, killing one instantly and finishing off the other with a knife, according to court documents.
In 2005, a jury sentenced him to death for the double murder.
Since then, he had filed numerous appeals to have his conviction overturned, citing in particular intellectual disabilities.
In a petition posted on the Internet, his defenders claimed that he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and head trauma caused by violence inflicted in his childhood by an alcoholic father.
His latest appeal, concerning the method of execution chosen by Oklahoma, was rejected Wednesday by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The death penalty continues to decline in the United States, where 11 executions were carried out in 2021, the lowest number in decades.