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Inmates' Attorney Questions Updated Protocols

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The attorney for Oklahoma death row inmates suing the state says recently released protocols don't do enough to prevent another problematic execution.

Oklahoma’s revised execution protocols lay out four state-approved chemical combinations. Dale Baich said a cocktail of midazolam and hydromorphone won’t work.

"It's an experiment that failed in Ohio, and it's an experiment that failed in Arizona," Baich said. "I don't understand why the state would even pick that as one of the choices."

The other three protocols include the one used on Clayton Lockett and two where the chemicals aren’t readily available. The Department of Corrections will tell a prisoner which chemicals will be used 10 days before execution, but there’s no proposal to reveal the source of the drugs.

The updated execution protocols seek to prevent IV problems that surfaced during Lockett’s execution. An IV team will consist of at least two people certified or licensed to run an IV. Baich said there’s a missing piece.

"What are the qualifications of the people who are inserting the needles? That information is still going to be kept from the prisoner and from the public," Baich said.

The new protocols say after an hour of unsuccessfully trying to place an IV, the governor’s office should be contacted about a potential temporary stay.

Matt Trotter joined KWGS as a reporter in 2013. Before coming to Public Radio Tulsa, he was the investigative producer at KJRH. His freelance work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and on MSNBC and CNN.