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Supreme Court rejects stay of execution for Oklahoma inmate

January 16, 2015

McALESTER, Oklahoma (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court says Oklahoma can proceed with its first execution since a botched one last spring.

Justices voted 5-4 against intervening in the case of Charles Frederick Warner. He was convicted in the 1997 rape and beating death of his roommate’s 11-month-old daughter.

Defense lawyers said a surgical sedative couldn’t knock Warner out well enough to ensure he won’t feel other drugs stop his lungs and heart.

Oklahoma prison officials delayed Warner’s scheduled 6 p.m. CST execution while waiting for the court to rule. Other courts had ruled against Warner, too.

Clayton Lockett writhed and moaned during a 43-minute execution in April.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said in a dissent that while Warner must be punished, the Constitution bars inmates from suffering searing, unnecessary pain.

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