TIME Crime

Texas Prepares to Execute First Prisoner Since Oklahoma Debacle

Texas Execution
AP This photo provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows inmate Robert Campbell

Convicted killer Robert Campbell is expected to die by lethal injection today, marking the first execution since the botched injection of Oklahoma death-row inmate Clayton Lockett last month prompted Oklahoma to temporarily cease all executions

Update: Tuesday, 6:43 a.m.

Attorneys representing Robert Campbell are hoping to prevent their client from being the first man executed in the U.S. since the bungled lethal injection of Clayton Lockett last month.

The state of Texas is set to execute Campbell, who is on death row for the rape and murder of bank teller Alejandra Rendon in 1991, on Tuesday unless a court intervenes on his behalf. Campbell’s lawyers are hoping to delay the execution on the grounds that Texas is relying on supplies of pharmaceuticals needed for the lethal injection from a secret source.

“Frighteningly, Texas is pursuing the path of secrecy in the midst of these deeply troubling events, and even in the immediate wake of events in Oklahoma,” wrote Maurie Levin, Campbell’s lead attorney, in a federal civil rights suit.

In March, Texas officials confirmed that they had secured a new batch of the lethal sedative pentobarbital, but authorities refused to disclose the identity of the supplier.

Assistant attorney general Ellen Stewart-Klein rejected the defense’s argument, saying Texas’ procedures are “vastly different from the situation in Oklahoma in which an admittedly new protocol was used.”

Oklahoma had relied on a complicated three-drug procedure to execute inmates, but the state has issued a six-month stay on capital punishment until the investigation into Lockett’s botched execution is completed.


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