Oklahoma prison warden retiring amid execution probe

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Drone Carrying Contraband Goods Crashes In Oklahoma Prison.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma prison warden who oversaw a botched execution in 2014 and a second lethal injection this year in which an inmate was given the wrong drugs is retiring, prison officials announced Thursday. Oklahoma State Penitentiary Warden Anita Trammell, one of the central players involved in Oklahoma’s recent controversial executions, is retiring, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections announced Thursday.“Anita Trammell has been a fixture at the DOC for over three decades,” Patton said. “Beginning her career as a case manager and working all the way up to warden of the state’s largest maximum security facility is a true testament to her leadership ability and dedication to the state of Oklahoma.

He said to his knowledge Trammell’s retirement has nothing to do with the fact that she testified before a grand jury last week over a drug mix-up that halted the execution of Richard Glossip. Trammell was inside the execution chamber in April 2014 when a botched lethal injection left inmate Clayton Lockett writhing on the gurney and mumbling in an execution that lasted for 43 minutes. Prison officials lowered the blinds during that execution after a physician member of the execution team noticed problems with the injection site in Lockett’s groin.

In a state investigation, Trammell described the scene as “a bloody mess.” In January, execution staffers at the penitentiary used an unauthorized drug to kill Charles Warner. Both Patton and Trammell appeared last week before a multicounty grand jury that is investigating how the wrong drug was delivered to the penitentiary for the last two scheduled lethal injections. Warner’s autopsy showed he was administered potassium acetate as the third drug in his lethal cocktail, rather than potassium chloride, the drug legally allowed for use in lethal injections in Oklahoma. Richard Glossip was just hours away from his scheduled execution last month when prison officials realized they received potassium acetate, not potassium chloride, which is the third of three drugs the state uses to execute people. That prompted Pruitt to ask the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to issue an indefinite stay of all scheduled executions “until my office knows more about these circumstances and gains confidence that (the Department of Corrections) can carry out executions in accordance with the execution protocol.” Pruitt said he won’t request any execution dates until at least 150 days after his investigation is complete, the results are made public and his office receives notice that the prisons agency can comply with the state’s execution protocol.

In fact just a couple of months ago, a similar situation happened in Ohio where another crash foiled the attempts of prisoners to get their hands on contraband. Patton told reporters on Oct. 1 the drug provider considered potassium acetate an acceptable substitute and did not inform the state Corrections Department about the change. He said recent changes to execution protocol under Patton’s tenure caused many of the recent problems. “We did a good job, and since we got the new director that decided our policies weren’t any good, that (they’re) a piece of crap, she’s getting some heat over that,” Boone said. “But she’s warden, it’s her job to take that.

But, she shouldn’t have to take it all herself, because you got this guy saying this is the way we did it in Arizona and its good enough. “Well there were people that made a lot of changes and took people out of there that knew what they were doing, and it laid the whole debacle on the warden there, which isn’t fair,” Boone said. “It starts with the director and goes from there.” Execution protocol was significantly changed after Lockett’s execution, and the death chamber was also updated. Boone said he recommended Trammell for a warden’s position early in her career because she was a skillful communicator, not a stereotypical no-nonsense warden. “You don’t have to carry a big stick and hit people over the head to be a good warden,” Boone said. “You have to be a people person.

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