Oklahoma official: State has drugs for 4 executions scheduled, believes process to be 'humane'

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File - This Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, shows an arm restraint on the gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Attorneys for 21 death row inmates who will be in a federal court this week challenging Oklahoma's lethal injection procedure outlined their strategy in court documents that reveal grisly new details in the botched execution of an inmate in April, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)


OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma's prison system chief says the state has the drugs it needs to execute four inmates early next year and plans to administer the same three drugs used in a botched execution this spring.

Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton told a federal judge Friday the agency plans to use the exact formula used successfully in 11 executions in Florida, one that he believes is "humane."

The judge plans to rule Monday in a case in which lawyers for 21 death row inmates say the sedative midazolam presents a risk of cruel and unusual punishment.

The same three drugs were used during the execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney, mumbled and tried to lift up before a problem was discovered with an intravenous line.

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