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Court Denies Oklahoma Death Row Inmates Firing Squad Request, Paves Way For Lethal Injection

OKLAHOMA CITY (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected a request from two Oklahoma death row inmates to temporarily halt their upcoming lethal injection executions.

A three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver denied the inmates' motion in a ruling on January 24. The decision paves the way for the state to carry out the executions of Donald Grant on January 27 and Gilbert Postelle on February 17.

OK firing squad
Oklahoma death row inmates Gilbert Postelle (L) and Donald Grant (R). (credit: Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections)

The two had argued that the state's current 3-drug lethal injection protocol that uses midazolam as the first drug will expose them to a constitutionally unacceptable risk of severe pain. But after a daylong hearing on that issue, a federal judge in Oklahoma City determined the inmates were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their case and denied their request for a temporary stay of execution.

The judge also determined that Grant and Postelle selected an alternative method of execution -- firing squad -- too late to be included in a separate lawsuit challenging Oklahoma's lethal injection method as unconstitutional.

Grant was convicted and sentenced to die for killing two Del City hotel workers during a 2001 robbery. Postelle received the death penalty for his role in the Memorial Day 2005 shooting deaths of four people at a home in southeast Oklahoma City.

(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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