© 2024 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Stitt rejects board's recommendation of clemency for Bigler Stouffer

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Gov. Kevin Stitt's office announced late Friday he had denied the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board's recommendation of clemency for Bigler Stouffer.

The three-sentence announcement said Stitt reached the decision "after reviewing materials presented by all sides of the case." No other statement from Stitt was included.

"Stouffer's brutal and senseless crime took the life of Linda Reaves and shattered the lives of Doug Ivens and their families. Now, after 36 years, justice will finally be served," Oklahoma Attorney General John O'Connor said in a statement.

O'Connor restarted executions in the state by requesting in September they be scheduled for seven death row inmates.

A jury convicted Stouffer of the 1985 murder of Putnam City teacher Reaves and attempted murder of Ivens. Stouffer, his family and friends have maintained his innocence, saying physical evidence does not support the state's case.

The 79-year-old's supporters delivered a petition with 10,000 signatures to Stitt this week, asking for him to grant clemency. Stouffer will be executed Dec. 9 at 10 a.m.

While the pardon and parole board said at Stouffer's clemency hearing they did not doubt his guilt, they recommended clemency on a 3–2 vote, citing concerns with Oklahoma's lethal injection procedure.

While the initial dates were pushed back because of legal requirements around clemency hearings, John Marion Grant became the first inmate killed by the state in more than six years on Oct. 29. The same three-drug cocktail used in a botched 2014 execution was used on Grant. He died while vomiting and convulsing.

The pardon and parole board recommended commuting Julius Jones' death sentence to life with the possibility of parole, with the majority of members citing doubt about his guilt. Stitt commuted Jones' sentence to life without parole.

The pardon and parole board denied two death row inmates clemency this week, saying their concerns with the lethal injection process had been addressed. Donald Grant has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and Gilbert Postelle has an intellectual disability.

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.