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Oklahoma executes a prisoner who convulses and vomits to death

John Marion Grant, 60 years old, was tied to a gurney in the execution chamber. He began vomiting and convulsing after the first drug, midazolam (sedative), was administered. Two members of the execution team removed the vomit from Grant's neck and face several minutes later.

Grant was heard shouting "Let's Go!" before the curtain was lifted to allow witnesses access to the execution chamber. Let's go! Let's go!" He uttered a series of profanities just before the lethal injection began. He was unconscious approximately 15 minutes after the first three drugs were administered, and declared dead six minutes later at 4:21 p.m.

Observers say it is rare for someone to vomit while they are being executed.

Robert Dunham, executive director at the nonpartisan Death Penalty Information Center, stated that "I have never heard of it or seen it." "That's remarkable and unusual."

Michael Graczyk is a former reporter for the Associated Press who has seen the executions of the death penalty about 450 times. Thursday, he said he can only recall one instance in which someone vomited while being executed.

Questions about Grant's reaction to the drugs were not answered by both the Oklahoma governor and attorney general. Justin Wolf, a spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, stated via email that Grant's execution was done in accordance to Oklahoma Department of Corrections protocols and without any complications.

Republican Governor. Kevin Stitt made reference to a section in the Oklahoma Constitution where voters unanimously enshrined death penalty.

Stitt stated that "Today, Gay Carter's family was able to get justice from the Department of Corrections and carried out the law of Oklahoma."

Grant was executed in Oklahoma for the first time since 2014 and 2015's flawed lethal injections. For several armed robberies, Grant was serving a 130 year sentence. Witnesses claim he pulled Gay Carter, a prison cafeteria worker, into a mop closet where he stabbed her 16 more times with a homemade shank. In 1999, he was sentenced to death.

Carter's daughter Pamela Gay Carter said that "at least now we are beginning to get justice for our loved one." "The death penalty protects any future victims. Grant committed an act that endangered an innocent person's life even after he was exonerated from society. I pray for justice to be done for the loved ones of all the victims. You all have my heartfelt prayers.

After the U.S. Supreme Court lifted execution stays that had been in place Wednesday for Grant and Julius Jones (a death row inmate), in a 5-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Grant was twice denied clemency by the state's Pardon and Parole Board. This included a vote of 3-2 this month to reject Grant's recommendation that his life should be spared.

Oklahoma was home to one of the most notorious death chambers in the country until problems in 2014/2015 led to a moratorium. Richard Glossip, who was about to be executed in September 2015, was saved by prison officials when they realized that they had received the wrong lethal medication. Later, it was discovered that the same drug used to execute another inmate in January 2015 had been mistakenly administered.

Following a botched execution that occurred in April 2014, Clayton Lockett, an inmate, struggled to get on a gurney and died 43 minutes after receiving his lethal injection. The executioners were stopped by the state's prison chief.

Despite the moratorium being in place, Oklahoma continued to plan to use nitrogen gas for executions of inmates. However, it eventually scrapped the idea and announced last January that it would resume executions using the same three drug lethal injection protocol used in the failed executions. These drugs include midazolam (a sedative), vecuronium bromide (a paralytic), and potassium chloride (which stops the heart).

Oklahoma prison officials announced recently that they have confirmed a source for all drugs required for Grant's execution and six additional that will be performed through March.

"Extensive validations have been carried out since the last execution to ensure that the process runs as planned," stated the Department of Corrections in a statement.

A federal lawsuit is being filed by more than twenty-two Oklahoma death row prisoners challenging state lethal injection protocols. They claim that the three drug method could cause unconstitutional pain or suffering. An early next year trial is planned.

Dale Baich is an attorney representing some of the death row prisoners in this suit. He said that eyewitness accounts of Grant’s lethal injection prove Oklahoma’s death penalty protocol doesn't work as it was intended.

Baich stated in a statement that the U.S. Supreme Court shouldn't have lifted the stay. "Until we get to trial in February, in order to fix the state's lethal injection protocol, there should be no executions in Oklahoma."

Grant and five other death row prisoners were removed from the lawsuit because they did not choose an alternative method of execution. This was ruled necessary by a federal judge. The 10th U.S., based in Denver, decided to have a panel consist of three members. Circuit Court of Appeals found that inmates had identified alternative execution methods, even though they did not specifically tick a box indicating which method they would use. Grant and Jones were granted stay of execution by the panel on Wednesday. Their lethal injection is scheduled for November 18.

Jones' case has been the subject of national attention ever since it was featured on ABC's 2018 documentary series "The Last Defense." A clemency hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday. Jones, 41, maintains his innocence in the shooting death of an Oklahoma City businessman in 1999. In March, the state Pardons and Parole Board recommended that Stitt be made governor and his death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment.

Stitt stated that he would not make a decision about whether Jones' life should be spared until the clemency hearing.

Grant and his lawyers did not deny that Carter was killed.

Attorney Sarah Jernigan stated that John Grant accepted full responsibility for Gay Carter's murder and spent his time on death row trying understand and atone for it. She made the statement Thursday after the execution.

Grant's lawyers argued that the jury was not presented with key facts regarding the crime and Grant’s difficult childhood. Grant had deep feelings for Carter, and was angry when Carter fired him following a fight with another cook.

"Jurors never learned that Mr. Grant had killed Ms. His attorneys wrote that Gay Carter was in the heat of passion after the sudden end to the most important and deepest adult relationship of his lifetime," in his application for clemency.

Pamela Carter also worked at the prison, and was there when her mother was murdered. She rejected the notion that Grant and Grant had any kind of relationship beyond a professional one, and asked state officials to proceed with execution.

She told the Pardon and Parole Board, "I understand that he's trying save his life. But you keep victimizing me mother with these stupid accusations." My mother was lively. She was kind and friendly. She never met a stranger. She treated her employees the same way you would treat someone working on the outside. It is just unacceptable for someone to profit from that.

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