Death row doctors slam ‘insane’ horror execution where convulsing inmate vomited

Doctors have slammed the 'insane' doses used in the botched execution of death row inmate John Grant that saw the killer convulse and vomit on himself.

Grant, 60, was executed by lethal injection on Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary despite major concerns over the safety of the procedure used.

The inmate, sentenced to death for the 1998 killing of a prison worker, convulsed and vomited after the sedative midazolam was administered.

That drug was followed by two more: vecuronium bromide, a paralytic, and potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

He reportedly yelled out at the beginning and even shouted 'let's go!' after it started.

He reportedly yelled out at the beginning and even shouted 'let's go!' after it started.

Grant was the first person in the southern US state to be executed for more than six years due to a heated public debate over lethal injections, following three botched executions in 2014 and 2015.

Now medical experts have slammed the 'massive' dosages of the three drugs used in his execution, with one doctor branding it 'insane'.

The state’s prisons agency is now likely to face legal action over its claim the execution was carried 'in accordance' with protocols, NBC reports.

Oklahoma's protocols call for administering 500 milligrams of the sedative. Arkansas and Ohio are among other states that use that dose of midazolam in executions.

But lethal injection expert Jonathan Groner, an Ohio State University medical school surgery professor, said sedation does not increase as the dosage goes up.

He said: “It’s just an insane dose and there’s probably no data on what that could cause.

“There’s a reason these drugs are given by anesthesiologists and not prison guards."

Grant was strapped to a stretcher inside the execution chamber when the drugs were administered.

After a few minutes, two members of the execution team wiped the vomit from his face and neck.

He was declared unconscious about 15 minutes after receiving the first drug and declared dead about six minutes after that, at 4:21 p.m.

In a statement released immediately after the execution, state prisons spokesman Justin Wolf said it “was carried out in accordance with Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ protocols and without complication.”

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On Friday, prisons director Scott Crow said it was “without complication” because there was no interruption of the agency’s process for putting someone to death.

He said Grant’s vomiting “was not pleasant to watch, but I do not believe it was inhumane.”

Crow said the doctor monitoring the execution said Grant was unconscious when he was vomiting and that “regurgitation is not a completely uncommon instance or occurrence with someone who is undergoing sedation.”

But Dr. Karen Sibert, an anesthesiologist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that type of nausea is not normally associated with the class of drugs that includes midazolam.

She argued that a lack of oxygen could have brought on the convulsions, along with Grant's high levels of anxiety and distress.

She added: “Midazolam does not usually cause it by itself."

Even before Grant's execution, more than than 24 Oklahoma death row inmates were challenging the state’s lethal injection protocols, arguing that the three-drug method risks causing unconstitutional pain and suffering.

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A trial is set for early next year.

Robert Denham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, a capital punishment clearing house that opposes the death penalty said the state will 'almost surely' face new lawsuits over its execution protocols.

He said: “Either they lied to the public and they can’t be trusted or they told the truth and the protocol can't be trusted."

Oklahoma halted executions in 2015 after other problematic lethal injections.

In April 2014, Clayton Lockett struggled on a gurney before dying 43 minutes into his lethal injection during the state's first use of midazolam — and after the state’s prisons chief ordered executioners to stop.

Grant was serving a 130-year prison sentence for several armed robberies when witnesses say he dragged prison cafeteria worker Gay Carter into a mop closet and stabbed her 16 times with a homemade shank.

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