Oklahoma Death Penalty Information

Information from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The current death penalty law was enacted in 1977 by the Oklahoma Legislature. The method to carry out the execution is by lethal injection. The original death penalty law in Oklahoma called for executions to be carried out by electrocution. In 1972 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the death penalty as it was then administered.

Oklahoma has executed a total of 164 men and 3 women between 1915 and 2007 at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary. Eighty-two were executed by electrocution, one by hanging (a federal prisoner) and 84 by lethal injection. The last execution by electrocution took place in 1966. The first execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma occurred on September 10, 1990, when Charles Troy Coleman, convicted in 1979 of Murder 1st Degree in Muskogee County was executed.

Execution Process

Method of Execution: Lethal Injection

Drugs used:

Sodium Thiopental – causes unconsciousness
Vecuronium Bromide – stops respiration
Potassium Chloride – stops heart

Two intravenous lines are inserted, one in each arm. The drugs are injected by hand held syringes simultaneously into the two intravenous lines. The sequence is in the order that the drugs are listed above.   Three executioners are utilized, with each one injecting one of the drugs.