Two men sentenced to death in Oklahoma-at the behest of a federal judge-agreed to be executed by firing squad, as a way of postponing their execution by lethal injection.
Two death row inmates in Oklahoma demand to be shot instead of receiving lethal injection
The two prisoners, Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle, asked Judge Stephen Friot to temporarily suspend their executions until a trial can be held on whether the lethal injection method, which the state of Oklahoma uses to execute those on death row, is constitutional.
The trial, presided over by Friot, to decide on the matter was already scheduled to begin on February 28 and the lawsuit was filed by about thirty prisoners. However, the judge had said that, in order to consider the defendants as plaintiffs in the trial, they had to offer an alternative method of execution.
“While it seems grotesque, we agree it will be a quicker death,” attorney Jim Stronski told Judge Friot Monday after a hearing in Oklahoma City.
The plaintiffs involved in the lawsuit had previously agreed to alternative methods of execution, such as different drug combinations for the same lethal injection or even by firing squad, one of the methods of execution authorized by the laws of Oklahoma.
Friot did not issue a decision on Monday, but said he expects to issue a warrant by the end of the week.
James Williams (Doctor), who was shot in the chest, testified that if a prisoner was shot four times in the heart area, death would come so quickly that the prisoner would feel no pain. He added that, unlike lethal injections, there is little chance that an execution will fail.
The Oklahoma Department of Corrections currently has no protocols for any execution other than by lethal injection.