Lori Gray, courtroom deputy for US District Judge Stephen Friot, confirmed to CNN that at a hearing Judge Friot told the parties that he would work to have a ruling by the end of this week.
The petition was filed by two inmates, Donald Grant and Gilbert Postelle: Grant is scheduled to be executed on January 27 and Postelle on February 17.
In their initial petition to the court, lawyers for the inmates had sought an injunction to stop Oklahoma from using lethal injection. Attorneys for the inmates are asking for the executions to be delayed pending a late February trial on the constitutionality of the lethal injection protocol.
Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesperson Josh Ward declined to comment on the case, citing the pending litigation.
Ward did confirm that the state has never carried out an execution by firing squad, but did say the department was prepared to carry out the orders of the court.
Lawyers for Donald Grant and Postelle cited the October 2021 execution in their petition, arguing that it was botched and if their clients are put to death by lethal injection, it is putting them at risk of substantial and serious harm.
Now, the lawyers are petitioning the court to allow the inmates to choose to be executed by firing squad.
Testimony submitted by the plaintiffs in court filings from a “board-certified anesthesiologist and a board certified pain medicine specialist” alleges that firing squad — not Oklahoma’s process of lethal injection — is appropriate because, “firing squad will reliably cause a death that will be quick and virtually painless.”
They also argue that by executing the inmates by firing squad the, “risk of a ‘botched’ execution is substantially reduced as compared with the more complicated method of lethal injection.”
CNN contacted lawyers for Grant and Postelle for comment, but did not receive a response.