Oklahoma carries out first US execution of 2022
Washington, United States — A man convicted of carrying out a double murder was put to death by lethal injection Thursday in Oklahoma, becoming the first prisoner executed in the United States this year.
The southern state’s execution of Donald Grant “was carried out with zero complications at 10:16 this morning (1616 GMT),” Oklahoma attorney general John O’Connor’s office said in a statement.
The 46-year-old’s last words were barely intelligible.
In 2001, Grant, then aged 25, robbed a hotel to steal bail money for his imprisoned girlfriend.
During the robbery, he opened fire on two hotel employees. One died instantly, and the other Grant finished off with a knife, according to court documents.
He was sentenced to death in 2005.
He filed numerous appeals during his imprisonment to have his sentence overturned, citing intellectual deficiencies in particular. In an online petition, his defenders claimed that he suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome and brain trauma caused by violent abuse in his childhood from his alcoholic father.
His last appeal, concerning the method of execution used by the southern US state of Oklahoma, was rejected Wednesday by the US Supreme Court.
Grant received an injection of three lethal substances at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
The deadly cocktail is suspected of causing excruciating pain for the condemned, which is forbidden by the US Constitution. In late October, an inmate suffered from convulsions and vomited several times after the first injection.
Nothing of the sort occurred during Grant’s execution.
The number of executions carried out annually in the United States has been declining in recent years.
Capital punishment has been abolished in 23 US states, while three others — California, Oregon and Pennsylvania — have observed a moratorium on its use.
A series of botched executions in Oklahoma led to a temporary moratorium on capital punishment in the state in 2015, but the moratorium was lifted in 2021.
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