John Grant, Oklahoma
Updated: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Oklahoma executed John Marion Grant on Thursday, October 28, 2021. John was pronounced dead at 4:21 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was 60 years of age. John was sentenced to death for murdering of Gay Carter at the Dick Conner Correctional Facility near Hominy, Oklahoma, on November 13, 1998. He spent the last 21 years of his life on Oklahoma’s death row.
John is one of nine children and his father left home before John was born. Although his mother had other children, John lacked a positive male role model during his childhood. His mother struggled to provide for her family and, for a while, they lived in a shack that had no indoor plumbing. John first left home at the ago of 12, and began stealing and 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 while growing up. He is also described as showing concern for his brothers and sisters and their children. When he was 17, John received a sentence of one year in an adult prison.
In 1980, John Grant received a sentence totaling 130 years in prison for four separate armed robberies. While in the Dick Conner Correctional Facility, Grant was working in the prison kitchen, along with Gay Carter. Gay was a Department of Corrections employee serving 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. On November 13, Grant was seen by fellow inmates loitering near a storage closet adjacent to the main dining area. 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 screwdriver. One of the stab wounds was to Gay’s aorta artery, causing rapid blood loss and death.
Grant attempted to flee but stabbed himself when he was cornered. A special team of correctional officers subdued Grant with an electrical shock device.
This was not John Grant’s first execution date. His previous execution dates were stayed over concerns regarding the execution drugs. Those stays were eventually lifted. The day before his execution, John received a stay of execution from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of the United States lifted the stay shortly before the execution was scheduled to begin.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Gay Carter. Please pray for the family of John Grant.
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