Oklahoma legislators to explore death penalty alternatives

FILE - Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the execution chamber on left, in McAlester, Okla. (AP Photo)
FILE - Oklahoma State Penitentiary, the execution chamber on left, in McAlester, Okla. (AP Photo)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Legislators plan to look at alternatives to lethal injection as Oklahoma’s method of execution during an interim study before lawmakers return for the 2015 session.

The study is among more than 80 that were formally approved on Friday by House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview.

Former Oklahoma Highway Patrolman and Republican state Rep. Mike Christian of Oklahoma City requested the study following the botched execution of an Oklahoma death row inmate in April.

Christian says he also wants to examine Oklahoma’s execution protocols and compare them to those of other states.

Current Oklahoma law calls for electrocution to be used as an alternative method of execution if lethal injection were declared unconstitutional.

Christian says he believes a firing squad would be a better second option.

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