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Oklahoma executions postponed after state fails to procure drugs

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma court has postponed two executions planned for this month after the state said it was having trouble obtaining the lethal injection drugs used to carry out the death penalty, court records showed on Tuesday.

The two executions have been moved to April, according to documents filed with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

According to court documents filed by the state on Monday, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections "remains without the drugs to carry out the lawful sentences of death" for the two inmates.

Attorneys for inmates Clayton Lockett, who was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, and Charles Warner, who was scheduled to be executed on March 27, requested their death sentences be put on hold due to uncertainty over the drugs.

The court set April 22 as the date for Lockett's execution and April 29 for Warner's.

Several states, including Oklahoma, have had difficulty getting drugs used in the lethal injections after pharmaceutical companies, especially in Europe, clamped down on sales for executions due to opposition to capital punishment.

The last execution carried out in Oklahoma was on January 23.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis and Heide Brandes in Oklahoma City; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/140318/oklahoma-executions-postponed-after-state-fails-procure-drugs