An Oklahoma court on Friday set execution dates for 25 death row prisoners, setting up a string of executions that would take place nearly every month over the next two years.
The executions are set to begin in late August and run through December 2024. The 25 men on death row have all exhausted their appeals, but they were temporarily spared in recent years as Oklahoma stopped administering the death penalty in 2015 because of botched executions.
Although the state began carrying out executions again late last year, it waited to set execution dates for the 25 prisoners because of a lawsuit over one of the drugs used in lethal injections. In June, a federal judge upheld the use of the drug, the sedative midazolam, finding that its use did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment and clearing the way for the courts to begin setting the execution dates.
If the executions take place as scheduled, Oklahoma would kill 10 prisoners a year in 2023 and 2024, the first time it has executed that many since 2003, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Texas executed 10 prisoners in 2018, and the federal government reached the same number in 2020.
Oklahoma’s attorney general, John O’Connor, asked the court to set dates for the prisoners, all of whom were convicted of murder, and said on Friday that family members of the victims had long been waiting for justice.
“They are courageous and inspiring in their continued expressions of love for the ones they lost,” Mr. O’Connor said in a statement. “My office stands beside them as they take this next step in the journey that the murderers forced upon them.”
Lawyers for the men on death row said several of them have claims to innocence, including Richard Glossip, now scheduled for execution in…