In The Know: State used wrong drug for January execution, records show

In The KnowIn The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.

Today In The News

Wrong drug used for January execution, state records show: The wrong deadly drug was used to execute baby killer Charles Frederick Warner in January, records show. Oklahoma Corrections Department officials used bottles labeled potassium acetate for the final drug during the lethal injection Jan. 15 — in violation of protocol, the records show. Officials were supposed to use potassium chloride to stop Warner’s heart [The Oklahoman]. Gov. Mary Fallin’s office on Thursday released more than 40,000 pages of documents related to executions in response to an open records request filed a year and a half ago [Tulsa World]. Death-penalty states are finding it harder to carry out executions as they struggle to obtain and properly use limited supplies of ever-changing combinations of suitable drugs [New York Times].

 Oklahoma City Council to defer consideration of panhandling ordinance: A time out is being called in the drive to curb panhandling in Oklahoma City. Ward 6 Councilwoman Meg Salyer says consideration of a measure to restrict access to the medians of streets will be deferred until at least Dec. 8 [NewsOK]. One reason that groups who work closely with the poorest citizens may be concerned is that criminalization of poverty is one of the root causes of people being trapped in poverty [OK Policy].
For Obamacare Shoppers, Only 2 Insurers to Pick From and a Blue Cross Shift: The Affordable Care Act health insurance market in Oklahoma faces big changes next year, with the dominant company moving 40,000 people into different plans and three other companies dropping out entirely. On Jan. 1, Oklahoma will be left with only two companies offering individual health plans in the “Obamacare” market: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma, the existing market leader, and UnitedHealthcare, a new entry [Oklahoma Watch].

State buys building near Capitol for medical examiner: Instead of a new, $40 million building near the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma, the state medical examiner will open a new office at a building used by the Oklahoma City-County Health Department. The state will buy the City-County Health Department’s building at 23rd Street and Kelley Avenue, across the street from the Governor’s Mansion [Journal Record].
Tulsa Area Leaders Push To Change The Arkansas River’s Tainted Image: It’s been decades since Tulsa decided the portion of the Arkansas River that runs through the city was too dirty and dangerous to swim in. The river is much cleaner now, but convincing the public it’s OK to hop in won’t be easy [StateImpact].
Solution to primary care shortage in danger: There is a primary care physician shortage in the United States that grows worse every year. More medical residents are choosing careers as hospitalists or specialists rather than the less lucrative practice of family medicine or pediatrics. Decreasing numbers of primary care physicians are choosing to practice in underserved communities, rural or urban, when they complete their residency [Tulsa World].
County Health Departments to offer flu clinics: With flu season just around the corner, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) announced today that county health departments will begin offering flu vaccine statewide Monday, October 12. Flu vaccination is recommended each year for everyone 6 months of age and older [Grand Lake News]. Get your flu shot. Yes, you [OK Policy].

Quote of the Day

“This continuing litany of errors makes you question whether the Department of Corrections is uniquely incompetent or whether that incompetence pervades the administration of capital punishment in Oklahoma. Warner’s last words were that his body was on fire. That suggests that the midazolam did not work in rendering him insensate and that the drug that was used for the killing produced intense pain. Now we know the wrong drug was used and Department of Corrections officials either didn’t know or didn’t care.”

– Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, regarding Thursday’s revelation that the January execution of Charles Warner was carried out with the wrong drug (Source)

Number of the Day


Percentage of Oklahoma families receiving food stamps with children under age 18

Source: Census Bureau.

See previous Numbers of the Day here.

Policy Note

Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion Is Helping The Uninsured — Where It’s Allowed To: The Affordable Care Act’s chief aim is to extend coverage to people without health insurance. One of the 2010 law’s primary means to achieve that goal is expanding Medicaid eligibility to more people near the poverty level. But a crucial court ruling in 2012 granted states the power to reject the Medicaid expansion. As a consequence, a two-tiered health care system is taking deeper root in America [Huffington Post].

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Carly Putnam joined OK Policy in 2013. As Policy Director, she supervises policy research and strategy. She previously worked as an OK Policy intern, and she was OK Policy's health care policy analyst through July 2020. She graduated from the University of Tulsa in 2013. As a student, she was a participant in the National Education for Women (N.E.W.) Leadership Institute and interned with Planned Parenthood. Carly is a graduate of the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits Nonprofit Management Certification; the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council’s Partners in Policymaking; The Mine, a social entrepreneurship fellowship in Tulsa; and Leadership Tulsa Class 62. She currently serves on the boards of Restore Hope Ministries and The Arc of Oklahoma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, and doing battle with her hundred year-old house.

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