A shortage of a drug used in Oklahoma executions has the attention of at least one legislator. Rep. Don Armes, R-Faxon, says lawmakers need to find a way for the Department of Corrections to continue to execute death row inmates. “The people of Oklahoma would be extremely disappointed in their Republican-led Legislature and executive branch if we let the death penalty effectively fall away,” Armes said. The state has only one remaining dose of pentobarbital, which is one of three drugs used in executions here. The DOC is looking to find more, but drug manufacturers won’t sell it to prison systems. Oklahoma has 64 inmates on death row. No executions are scheduled the rest of this year, but that could change if some inmates’ final appeals are denied. Armes said alternatives to lethal injection are possible but would require legislative action. He wants that done sooner rather than later. “Oklahomans believe in the execution of brutal and cold-blooded killers,” he said. “They expect us to carry out their will.”
A view of cells on death row in H Unit at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman