Report: Oklahoma used wrong drug in January execution

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Oklahoma Executions Put On Hold


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma used the wrong drug to stop an inmate's heart during an execution in January, according to an autopsy report obtained by a newspaper.

The Oklahoman reported Thursday that corrections officials used potassium acetate — not potassium chloride, as required under the state's protocol — to execute Charles Frederick Warner.

SEE ALSO: Oklahoma seeks to halt three executions after drug mix-up

Last week, Gov. Mary Fallin issued a last-minute stay for inmate Richard Glossip after officials discovered that potassium acetate had been delivered on the day of his scheduled execution. All executions in Oklahoma are on hold at the request of Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the state investigates the mix-up.

Potassium chloride, which stops the heart, is the final drug in the state's protocol following a sedative and paralytic.

Items used in Warner's execution were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which performed an autopsy. The report said the office received two syringes labeled "potassium chloride" but that the 12 vials used to fill the syringes were labeled "single dose Potassium Acetate Injection."

After receiving the first drug in the series, midazolam, Warner said, "My body is on fire," but showed no other signs of distress and was pronounced dead after 18 minutes.

Fallin told the newspaper Wednesday that "it became apparent" during the discussions Sept. 30 about a delay in Glossip's execution that the Corrections Department may have used potassium acetate in Warner's execution.

"I was not aware, nor was anyone in my office aware, of that possibility until the day of Richard Glossip's scheduled execution," she said.

The governor said she supports an inquiry into Warner's execution as well.

"It is imperative that the attorney general obtain the information he needs to make sure justice is served competently and fairly," she said in an email to the newspaper. "Until we have complete confidence in the system, we will delay any further executions."

Last week, the Death Penalty Information Center said potassium acetate had never been used in a U.S. execution.

Warner is the only inmate executed in Oklahoma since the April 2014 lethal injection of Clayton Lockett, who writhed and moaned on the gurney for more than 40 minutes after an intravenous line was improperly placed, causing the drugs to go into his tissue instead of bloodstream.

That case, which cited the sedative midazolam, ended up before the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the use of the drug in June.

Related - Photos of Richard Glossip, who was recently executed in Oklahoma:

14 PHOTOS
Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossip set to die for 1997 killing
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Report: Oklahoma used wrong drug in January execution
FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows death row inmate Richard Glossip. Glossip is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, File)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Anti-death penalty activists, including members of MoveOn.org and other advocay groups rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in a final attempt to prevent the execution of Oklahoma inmate Richard Glossip on September 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. Legal experts, death penalty opponents, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans have fought tirelessly to prevent the execution of Glossip. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)
Sister Helen Prejean, famous for the book "Dead Man Walking" about her work with death row inmates, speaks at Belmont University Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. Prejean is the spiritual adviser for Richard Glossip, the Oklahoma inmate who just got a last minute reprieve from execution. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Kathleen Lord, center, and Don Knight, right, two of Richard Glossip's defense attorneys, look on as Sister Helen Prejean, left, addresses the media outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester Okla., Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, after a stay was issued for Glossip. Glossip was twice convicted of ordering the killing of Barry Van Treese, who owned the Oklahoma City motel where he worked. His co-worker, Justin Sneed, was convicted of fatally beating Van Treese and was a key prosecution witness in Glossip's trials. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sister Helen Prejean, a death penalty opponent, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Looking on at left is Don Knight, one of the defense attorneys for Richard Glossip. Glossip is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, and his defense team is asking for a stay while they search for evidence in the case. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
From left, Janie Coverdale, who lost two grandchildren in the Oklahoma City bombing, Nancy Norvell and Kathy Wokaty, a sister of death row inmate Richard Glossip, listen during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Glossip is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, and his defense team is asking for a stay while they search for evidence in the case. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Connie Johnson, former Oklahoma state Senator, speaks to a rally to stop the execution of Richard Glossip, in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Glossip is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Ericka Glossip-Hodge, left, daughter of Richard Glossip, and Billie Jo Ogden Boyiddle, right, Richard Glossip's sister, listen during a rally to stop the execution of Richard Glossip, in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Glossip is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Sept. 16. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Ericka Glossip-Hodge, left, the daughter of death row inmate Richard Glossip, and Don Knight, right, one of his attorneys, wait next to a portrait of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to deliver information to a representative of the governor concerning Glossips's case, in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Glossip is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, and his defense team is asking for a stay while they search for evidence in the case. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Nancy Vollertsen holds a photo of her brother, Greg Wilhoit, who spent five years on Oklahoma's death row before being exonerated, during a rally to stop the execution of Richard Glossip in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Glossip is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
Billie Jo Ogden Boyiddle, left, a niece of death row inmate Richard Glossip, is pictured following a news conference by his attorneys in Oklahoma City, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. Pictured at center is Ericka Glossip-Hodge, his daughter. Glossip is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, and his defense team is asking for a stay while they search for evidence in the case. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Kim Vanetta, of New York, a friend of Richard Glossip, holds a box of correspondence Glossip has received, during a protest at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Glossip is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015. At rear is Glossip's niece, Billie Jo Ogden Boyiddle. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Ericka Glossip-Hodge signs the guest book in the Governor's office in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015. Her father, Richard Glossip, is scheduled to be executed Wednesday, Sept. 16. Glossip's family and supporters rallied at the state Capitol, asking for a 60-day stay. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
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