The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled on May 7 to extend the interval between executions to occur approximately 90-days apart, specifying that executions should be scheduled for Thursdays, and that the Department of Corrections must be provided notice at least 35 days in advance. The Court also denied the Attorney General’s motion to set execution dates for groups of prisoners, as has been done in the past, instead choosing to schedule executions individually.  

“Attorney General Drummond respects the Court’s ruling and will continue to support the families of victims in every way possible as they await justice for their lost loved ones,” said Phil Bacharach, spokesperson for the Attorney General. AG Drummond had cited the lasting emotional and mental trauma on correctional staff as a reason to extend the execution interval from 60 days to 90 days. Shortly after taking office in January 2023, AG Drummond had previously requested the 30-day execution interval be extended to 60-days, slowing down the pace of the 25 executions that had originally been scheduled in July 2022. 

Although the judges were unanimous in their decision to forgo scheduling groups of prisoners for execution, Judge Gary Lumpkin and Judge David Lewis disagreed with extending the interval in between executions. Judge Lumpkin, who had previously told DOC officials to “suck it up” and “man up” during a March hearing, wrote that correctional officials could “meet the challenges placed before them when proper leadership is provided.” In his opinion, he also highlighted that the courts should respect the legislature’s expedited timeline. “Until the Legislature changes the procedures, it is the responsibility of each person involved in that process to perform his or her duties in a timely manner. This is true whether it be judges, prosecutors, or those charged with carrying out the judgement and sentence entered by the citizens who served on the juries in each of these cases,” wrote Judge Lumpkin. 

In July 2022, former Attorney General John O’Connor asked the courts to schedule 25 execution dates starting in August 2022 through December 2024. The executions were set to take place in four phases of six executions each, plus an additional 25th execution. Within each phase, the executions were scheduled at four-week intervals, followed by an execution-free month before the start of the next phase. Since then, eight of the 25 executions have been carried out. According to the local news station KOKH, 17 prisoners on Oklahoma death row have exhausted all appeals and are awaiting execution dates.