Oklahoma judge declared the state’s execution law unconstitutional Wednesday, ruling that it violates due process rights by denying inmates access to the court system.
The ruling stems from a challenge by two death-row inmates of a state law forbidding anyone to disclose the source of drugs used in executions, even if an inmate seeks the information as part of a legal case.
Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish said Monday that provision violates due process rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
Inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner sued the state last month in an effort to find out if the drugs to be used in their executions next month will be pure and would not cause them to suffer.
Lockett, who was convicted of killing a 19-year-old woman in 1999, is set to be executed April 22. Warner is scheduled to die April 29 for killing his girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter 17 years ago.
A separate court will hear pleas from the to inmates for a stay of their execution.
Contributing: Associated Press