“His entire upper back repeatedly lifted off the gurney,” Snyder said. “As the convulsions continued, Grant then began to vomit.”
For the next few minutes, medical staff entered the room multiple times to wipe away and remove vomit from the still-breathing Grant, according to Snyder. Grant was declared unconscious by medical staff at about 4:15 pm.
The second and third drugs were administered a minute later, according to Snyder.
The time of death was 4:21 p.m. CT, according to Oklahoma corrections spokesperson Justin Wolf.
Grant was convicted in 2000 of first-degree murder for killing prison worker Gay Carter in the kitchen of the Dick Conner Correctional Facility in 1998. Before that killing, Grant was serving what amounted to a life sentence for several armed robbery convictions, state corrections records show.
“Inmate Grant’s execution was carried out in accordance with Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ protocols and without complication,” Wolf said.
Grant’s lethal injection came hours after the US Supreme Court vacated a ruling that had granted a stay of his execution.
A series of controversies and postponements
Grant’s execution was Oklahoma’s first since January 2015, after which the state put a moratorium on lethal injections following a series of controversies.
A grand jury then reviewed the execution protocol and recommended protocol revisions, including verifying execution drugs at each step and more training for execution team. The revised protocol still includes the use of midazolam.
Earlier this week, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said in a news release, “After investing significant hours into reviewing policies and practices to ensure that executions are handled humanely, efficiently, and in accordance with state statute and court rulings, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is prepared to resume executions in the state of Oklahoma.”
“ODOC continues to use the approved three drug protocol which has proven humane and effective. The agency has confirmed a source to supply the drugs needed for all currently scheduled executions. Extensive validations and redundancies have been implemented since the last execution in order to ensure that the process works as intended,” the release reads.
Statement from Grant’s attorney
An attorney for Grant, Sarah Jernigan, said in a statement to CNN on Thursday, “John Grant took full responsibility for the murder of Gay Carter, and he spent his years on death row trying to understand and atone for his actions, more than any other client I have worked with.
“Through all of this, John never received the mental health care he needed or deserved in prison. And when he eventually committed a violent crime, the murder of a prison worker, Oklahoma provided him with incompetent lawyers who had no business handling a case with the ultimate punishment at stake,” Jernigan wrote.
Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect surname for Grant’s victim. She was Gay Carter.