A death row inmate in Oklahoma is seeking clemency a month before his scheduled execution.
Lawyers for an Oklahoma death row inmate have filed a clemency plea little over a month before his planned execution.
John Grant’s execution was set for Oct. 28 by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Sept. 20 – the first in the state since 2015. In addition, the state has scheduled five more executions for the month of March.
On Tuesday, Grant, 60, will before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board for a hearing.
Grant’s lawyers cited his history of abuse and neglect in state-run institutions since he was a toddler in his clemency appeal. At the age of 12, he was sentenced to juvenile jail for stealing food and clothing for his eight siblings.
According to the petition, the state Department of Human Services’ facilities have been the subject of “a widespread, nationally publicized scandal” dubbed “Oklahoma shame.”
Grant’s attorney, Sarah Jernigan, said, “John Grant never had a chance in life owing to the horrendous abuse he suffered first at the hands of his mother and afterwards in state-run institutions in Oklahoma whose horrific mistreatments are a well-documented disgrace.” “However, he is deeply sorry for his misdeeds and has attempted to atone for them while incarcerated. We are hopeful that Oklahoma would show mercy and give him a second chance by allowing him to serve the rest of his life in jail rather than being executed.”
Grant had poor trial counsel, according to the petition, with his attorneys neglecting to research parts of the crime and Grant’s background. Since then, one of the lawyers has been suspended for unprofessional behavior.
Grant was condemned to death in 1998 for the slaying of prison guard Gay Carter, who he killed while serving a term for four armed robberies.
The state stated on Feb. 13, 2020, that it will resume executions years after a convicted murderer’s execution was botched due to the use of an inappropriate drug.
After considering the use of nitrogen gas for executions, Gov. Kevin Stitt said that the state has acquired a “reliable supply of drugs” to resume lethal injections.
Clayton Lockett died of a heart attack during his execution in 2014, drawing attention to Oklahoma’s lethal injection process.
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