Oklahoma to carry out first US execution of 2022

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Oklahoma is set to carry out its first US execution of 2022.
Oklahoma is set to carry out its first US execution of 2022.
Paul Harris, Getty Images
  • Donald Grant was sentenced to death in 2005 after he killed two hotel employees during a robbery.
  • According to court records, he robbed a hotel to steal bail money for this imprisoned girlfriend.
  • Grant will receive an injection of three lethal substances.

A man sentenced to death for a double murder was scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection Thursday in Oklahoma, which would make him the first prisoner executed in the United States this year.

In 2001, Donald Grant, then aged 25, robbed a hotel to steal bail money for his imprisoned girlfriend.

During the robbery, he opened fire on two hotel employees. One died instantly, and the other Grant finished off with a knife, according to court documents.

He was sentenced to death in 2005.

Since then, he has filed numerous appeals to have his sentence overturned, citing intellectual deficiencies in particular. In an online petition, his defenders claim that he suffers from foetal alcohol syndrome and brain trauma caused by violent abuse in his childhood from his alcoholic father.

His last appeal, concerning the method of execution used by the southern US state of Oklahoma, was rejected Wednesday by the US Supreme Court.

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Barring a surprise last-minute stay of execution, Grant, now 46, will receive an injection of three lethal substances at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

The deadly cocktail is suspected of causing excruciating pain for the condemned, which is forbidden by the US Constitution. In late October, an inmate suffered from convulsions and vomited several times after the first injection.

The number of executions carried out annually in the United States has been declining in recent years.

Capital punishment has been abolished in 23 US states, while three others - California, Oregon and Pennsylvania - have observed a moratorium on its use.

A series of botched executions in Oklahoma led to a temporary moratorium on capital punishment in the state in 2015, but the moratorium was lifted in 2021.

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