Attorney General DOC Director files Motion to Seek 90-Day Execution Intervals


Attorney General Gentner Drummond and Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) Executive Director Steven Harpe filed a joint motion to schedule the next phase of executions at 90-day intervals.

In an affidavit filed with the motion, Harpe notes the scheduling of an execution date triggers a series of tasks that must be completed weeks before the scheduled execution. These tasks may take up a large amount of time and might not provide closure quickly enough to family members.

Before filing the motion, Drummond visited with all the family members of the victims of affected inmates to explain the reason for the request.

“These families have waited far too long for justice to be done,” Drummond said. “Each family has a heartbreaking story of tragic loss, and it grieves me that the death penalty system takes so many years to deliver closure. Their day for justice draws near. When that day comes, I will be there to bear witness.”

Harpe described how adjusting the execution pace can protect the integrity of the process.

“The previous model put a massive strain on ODOC to carry out daily operations due to the time the employees spent away from their primary posts to perform the required number of drills,” said Harpe. “We appreciate Attorney General Drummond’s help in navigating this petition to adjust executions to every 90 days. This will allow ODOC to carry out the court-ordered warrants within a timeframe that will minimize the disruptions to normal operations. This pace also protects our team’s mental health and allows time for them to process and recover between the scheduled executions.”

The convicted inmates impacted by the change include Richard Norman Rojem, Emmanuel Littlejohn, Kevin Ray Underwood, Wendell Arden Grissom, Tremane Wood, and Kendrick Antonio Simpson.