Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, Oklahoma


Update: April 26, 2014 12:15 pm EDT

The Oklahoma attorney general has announced that the Oklahoma department of corrections is prepared to carry out a double execution on Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Clayton Lockett will be executed at 6 pm and Charles Warner will be executed at 8 pm.

Update: April 24, 2014 7:00 pm EDT

It has been reported that Clayton Lockett died during the course of his execution. It has also been reported that there were complications during the execution, leading to a stay of execution for Charles Warner. More information will be forthcoming once the complete facts are known.

Clayton Darrell Lockett and Charles Frederick Warner have been appealing Oklahoma's execution protocol together since the beginning of the year, as their executions were first scheduled one week apart. Now, after numerous appeals, being bounced between courts, and a confusing legal battle, which led to the involvement of Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, both men have been scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma.


Thirty-eight-year-old Clayton is convicted of murdering 19-year-old Stephanie Michelle Nieman on June 3, 1999, in Perry, Oklahoma. Clayton has spent the last 13 years of his life on Oklahoma's death row. Read the details of his crime here.


Forty-six-year-old Charles is convicted of killing 11-month-old Adriana Waller on August 22, 1997, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Charles has spent the last 14 years of his life on Oklahoma's death row. Read the details of his crime here.


In January, Clayton and Charles filed a request to learn the source of the drugs to be used in their executions. Oklahoma classifies that information as a state secret, but the inmates insisted they needed the information in order to determine what, if any, risk posed by the execution drugs. Since then, the case has bounced between several courts, until Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish ruled the law unconstitutional in March. Oklahoma appealed her decision. However, Judge Parrish lacked the authority to issue a stay of execution, saying it was up to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Clayton and Charles appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for a stay until the lawsuit was resolved. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied having the jurisdiction to issue a stay. The inmates then appealed to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, who also claimed that they lacked jurisdiction and insisted that the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals should consider the case. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals again ruled that it lacked jurisdiction because the men were not appealing a part of their criminal case.


With Clayton's execution a day away, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, issued a stay of execution for Clayton and Charles. The following day, on April 22, 2014, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a stay of execution for Clayton Lockett. In her executive order, she stated that the Supreme Court stepped "outside the constitutional authority of [their] body" in issuing the stay of execution. Oklahoma has a bifurcated judicial system; the Court of Criminal Appeals handles all criminal cases and the Supreme Court handles all civil cases. Each court claimed it did not fall within their jurisdiction, however, the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a stay as "they could not leave the inmates without "access to the courts for resolution of their 'grave' constitutional claims."


On Thursday, April 24, 2014, the Oklahoma Supreme Court dissolved their stay and overturned the ruling of Judge Parrish. Taking into consideration the stay issued by Governor Fallin, both inmates are now scheduled to be executed on April 29.


Jerry Massie, with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, told this reporter that they do not currently have a plan in place to carry out the execution of two inmates on the same day.


This would not be the first double execution carried out in Oklahoma. On June 11, 1937, two inmates, Charlie Sands and Leon Siler were both executed.


Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Stephanie and Adriana and for all who were affected by the crimes of these men. Please pray for strength for the families of Clayton and Charles. Please pray the Clayton and Charles may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if they have not found one already.



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