Oklahoma inmate has adverse reaction during execution

Death row inmate John Marion Grant began convulsing and vomiting after the first lethal drug was administered.

Published: October 28, 2021 10:38pm

Updated: October 29, 2021 12:11am

An Oklahoma man began vomiting and convulsing during his execution Thursday, ending a nearly seven-year moratorium on the death penalty in the state.

According to the Associated Press, 60-year-old John Marion Grant was executed for the slaying of a prison cafeteria worker in 1998. 

Grant began convulsing after the sedative midazolam was administered. Death penalty experts say this type of reaction is extremely rare, raising questions as to what caused such behavior.

"I’ve never heard of or seen that," said the executive director of the nonpartisan Death Penalty Information Center Robert Durham. "That is notable and unusual."

Retired Associated Press death penalty reporter Michael Graczyk said out of the over 450 executions he has witnessed, he only recalls one other instance of an inmate convulsing and vomiting. 

Grant was the first Oklahoman to be executed since 2015 when a series of flawed lethal injections caused the death penalty to be paused in the state.

Oklahoma carried out the execution after the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 Wednesday to lift the stays of execution placed on Grant, and another inmate named Julius Jones. 


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