Oklahoma's attorney general has asked the state’s highest appeals court to set execution dates for 25 death row inmates following a federal judge’s ruling that the state’s protocol does not create an unconstitutional risk of pain and suffering. The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has asked that the executions start on August 25 and that they be spaced at least four weeks apart. The order lists the 25 inmates.
“Killing 25 human beings as punishment for killing–even if guilty–only perpetuates the cycle of violence and offers none of the mercy and opportunity for redemption Jesus asks of us,'' Oklahoma City’s Archbishop Paul S. Coakley said of the requests. “We also can’t undo it if we are wrong.”
The request comes as executions in the U.S. are on the decline. The 11 executions that took place last year were the fewest since 1988. Oklahoma went nearly seven years without carrying out an execution after its lethal injection protocol came under scrutiny after a botched execution of a death row inmate in 2014. The state has carried out four executions since October 2021.