Oklahoma governor’s lawyer didn’t know how to kill inmates on death row — so he Googled it
A grand jury in Oklahoma issued a blistering report on Thursday after an investigation revealed that the governor’s top lawyer insisted an execution go forward despite prison officials receiving the wrong drug.
According to NewsOK, a deputy attorney general learned that potassium acetate was to be used in the September 30, 2015 execution of Richard Glossip instead of potassium chloride. Sensing a problem, the deputy AG contacted the governor’s general counsel for guidance, only to be told to go ahead with using the wrong drug, adding that she should use Google to research the similarities.
The grand jury cited evidence that Gov. Mary Fallin’s general counsel, Steve Mullins issued instructions stating, “potassium chloride and potassium acetate were basically one in the same drug,” before advising the deputy attorney general to ‘Google it.”
Mullins also told the deputy attorney general not to seek a stay of the execution writing, “It would look bad for the state of Oklahoma because potassium acetate had already been used in (Charles) Warner’s execution.”
The deputy attorney general actually did Google the drug and learned that potassium chloride and potassium acetate were, in fact, not the same, resulting in an eventual stay of execution by the governor.
According to the grand jury’s report, it was apparent that officials in Gov. Mary Fallin’s office knew the wrong drug was used in Warner’s execution in 2015, and that Mullins openly pushed for repeating the illegal drug substitution.
Prior to appearing before the grand jury, Anita Trammell, the penitentiary warden, and Robert Patton, the head of the Department of Corrections, resigned after an investigation showed they failed to notify anyone when they received potassium acetate for the second time.
Mullins stepped down from his position in February.