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Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner
Oklahoma Department of Corrections/AP

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected two inmates’ demands to know the source of the drugs that will be used to carry out their death sentences, enabling the executions to take place as early as next week.

The issue of secrecy regarding the sourcing of drugs used in lethal injections has come to a head, after several major drug makers, whose names had been made public, decided over the past year to stop selling such substances to prisons and corrections departments. This has led states that have the death penalty to scramble for substitute drugs, and to institute provisions to protect drug makers’ anonymity.

Oklahoma death row inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner’s petition for the public naming of the manufacturer of drugs to be used to execute them was seen as a threat to these provisions.

The Supreme Court decided Monday to stay their executions until a judgment had been reached.

After judgement was made in the state’s favor Wednesday, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt told the Associated Press that the ruling would deter “intimidation used by defense counsel and other anti-death penalty groups.”


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