Update: Monday, October 19, 2015 11:03 am EDT
John Marion Grant was scheduled to be executed at 3 pm CST, on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. His execution has been stayed by the state's Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Fifty-four-year-old John was sentenced to death for the murder of Gay Carter at the Dick Conner Correctional Facility near Hominy, Oklahoma, on November 13, 1998. John has spent the last 15 years on Oklahoma’s death row.
John was one of nine children. His father left home before he was born and John did not know his father growing up. Although his mother had other children, John lacked a positive male role model growing up. His mother struggled to make money and they lived, for a time, in a shack that had no indoor plumbing. He first left home at the age of 12 and began getting into trouble with the police as a teenager. His family alleges that the items he stole were necessities for the younger children. John is described as a “sweet,” “loving,” “quiet,” “sensitive,” and “gentle” child growing up and that he always showed concern for his brothers and sisters, and their children. At the age of 17, he was sentenced to one year in an adult prison.
In 1980, John Grant was sentenced to a total of 130 years for four separate armed robberies. While serving time in the Dick Conner Correctional Facility, Grant worked in the prison kitchen, along with Gay Carter, a Department of Corrections employee who worked as the food service supervisor. After fighting with other inmates, Grant lost his job working in the kitchen and threatened Gay.
On November 12 and 13, 1998, Grant argued with Gay over his breakfast tray, threatening Gay on both days. Grant was observed by fellow inmates to be loitering near a storage closet adjacent to the main dining area on November 13. As Gay returned to the main dining area, she was pulled by Grant into a mop closet. Grant held her mouth shut and stabbed her sixteen times with a “shank,” similar to a sharpened screw driver. One of the stab wounds was to Gay’s aorta artery, causing rapid blood loss and death.
Grant attempted to flee and then stabbed himself when he was cornered. A special team of correctional officers were able to subdue Grant with an electrical shock device.
John Grant had been scheduled to be executed on December 4, 2014. His execution was postponed to Thursday, February 19, 2015, following a request from the Oklahoma Attorney General. The delay was granted in order to allow the execution team time to complete their training regarding the new execution protocol, which includes training on new equipment and new communication methods during the execution. The state has also had difficulty obtaining the necessary drugs for the execution.
John’s February 19, 2015, execution was then stayed after the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear a case regarding the constitutionality of the state’s execution protocol, specifically, the use of midazolam. The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the use of midazolam in executions is permissible.
The execution of John Grant has been stayed following a request by Oklahoma's Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Pruitt requested that all currently scheduled executions be stayed following a mix-up in lethal injection drugs, discovered hours before the execution of Richard Glossip on Wednesday, September 30, 2015. Pruitt requested the indefinite stays of executions in order to allow "time to evaluate the events that transpired on September 30, 2015." The evaluation will include how drugs that were approved for use in executions were procured, and how it was not immediately noted that the drugs were incorrect. The executions have not yet been rescheduled and will not be rescheduled until at least 150 days after the conclusion of the investigation.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Gay Carter. Please pray for strength for the family of John. Please pray that if John is innocent or lacks the mental competency to be executed, evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that John may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.