An Oklahoma grand jury investigating the state's execution procedures said Thursday that a top lawyer for Gov. Mary Fallin encouraged the use of the wrong lethal injection drug in an execution that was later called off.
The grand jury did not issue any indictments 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.
Glossip's execution was scheduled for Sept. 30 but it was halted by Fallin.
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"It is unacceptable for the governor's general counsel to so flippantly and recklessly disregard the written protocol and the rights of Richard Glossip," the grand jury said in its report.
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.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt assembled the panel after the provider of Oklahoma's execution drugs sent the wrong chemical for Glossip's scheduled Sept. 30 execution. After the execution was called off, it was later revealed that inmate Charles Warner had been executed with the same wrong drug, potassium acetate, in January 2015.
The drug mix-ups followed a botched execution in April 2014 in which inmate Clayton Lockett struggled on a gurney before dying 43 minutes into his lethal injection — and after the state's prison's chief ordered executioners to stop.
Oklahoma's court system has put executions on hold pending the grand jury's probe. Pruitt has said he will not ask the court to schedule any execution dates until at least 150 days — or about five months — after the results are released and his office is officially notified that the prisons system believes it can execute prisoners according to the state's guidelines. In the meantime, five Oklahoma death row inmates have exhausted their appeals and are awaiting execution dates.
The head of the prison system and the penitentiary warden also quit after appearing before the grand jury.
In receiving the 106-page report, Oklahoma County District Judge Donald Deason thanked the grand jury for its work and said Oklahomans "need to know somebody has been looking at the monkey business that's been going on at the Department of Corrections."