Federal judge denies motion to delay executions for 2 Oklahoma death row inmates

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — A federal judge has denied two Oklahoma death row inmates’ request to delay their scheduled executions.

The lawyers for Oklahoma death row inmates Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle filed a motion to delay their executions. Judge Stephen Friot denied their request on Friday.

Grant and Postelle are the next two death row inmates scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma, with Grant’s execution being slated for Jan. 27.

Lawyers for Grant and Postelle say the way Oklahoma carries out the death penalty has a “substantial risk of severe pain and suffering.” Friot found that the lawyers did not prove during a hearing Monday that the state’s execution method had a “substantial risk of severe pain.”

Grant was sentenced to death for a 2001 double murder. Although he admits to the murders, Grant’s lawyers claim he is severely mentally ill and shouldn’t be executed.

“Mr. Grant is well aware he’s going to be executed. He does not wish to be executed. He is afraid, and he understands that he may die like John Grant. And he’s terrified of that,” attorney Susan Otto said.

Postelle was convicted of four murders that happened on Memorial Day in 2005. He believed the four people he killed were responsible for injuring his father in a motorcycle accident.

Postelle said he was addicted to meth from a young age and doesn’t remember the crime.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board denied clemency for Grant and Postelle in late 2021.

A trial in February also will decide whether Oklahoma can continue its lethal injection protocols. Friot also will decide whether Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol is constitutional.

If so, around two dozen inmates could immediately get execution dates. If not, there would be new delays in executing a total of more than 40 people on death row.





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