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Oklahoma's Third Execution Since Six-Year Hiatus Goes Smoothly

Convicted murderer Gilbert Ray Postelle was declared dead Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, in the third execution after the state resumed capital punishment in October, the Oklahoman reports. He faced the death penalty for shooting and killing four people with an assault rifle in 2005 outside a trailer park with his father. Postelle said he remembered only part of the incident because he was high on methamphetamine. Attorney General John O'Connor said the execution had "zero complications".


Oklahoma had paused all executions for six years after several incidents which called the practice into question. Authorities called off one execution at the last minute after realizing the wrong drug had been administered. In another incident, a death row inmate convulsed and threw up. Death penalty opponents gathered to demonstrate Postelle's execution outside the governor's mansion. Archbishop Paul Coakley called on leaders to abandon the practice. "Please pray that our state’s leaders truly embrace being pro-life and end the death penalty in Oklahoma,” he Coakley said. A trial in a lawsuit by two dozen death row inmates challenging the state's lethal injection procedure will begin Feb. 28 in Oklahoma City federal court.



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