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OKLAHOMA CITY — Governor Mary Fallin agreed Thursday that all executions in Oklahoma should be delayed after an autopsy revealed that the wrong drug was used to stop an inmate’s heart in January.

Fallin said ‘‘it became apparent’’ last week that prison officials had used potassium acetate — which experts say doesn’t work as quickly or effectively as potassium chloride, the drug required under the state’s protocol — to execute Charles Frederick Warner.

‘‘Until we have complete confidence in the system, we will delay any further executions,’’ Fallin said.

The autopsy report, prepared the day after Warner’s Jan. 15 execution and revealed by The Oklahoman newspaper Thursday, describes the instruments of death in detail. It says the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner received two syringes labeled ‘‘potassium chloride,’’ but the vials used to fill the syringes were labeled ‘‘single dose Potassium Acetate Injection.’’


The autopsy contradicts the official execution log, initialed by a prison staffer, which says the state properly used potassium chloride to stop Warner’s heart, according to a copy obtained by the Associated Press.

‘‘We cannot trust Oklahoma to get it right or tell the truth,’’ said Dale Baich, an attorney representing inmates on Oklahoma’s death row.

The next inmate scheduled to die after Warner, Richard Glossip, came within hours of his lethal injections last week before prison officials informed the governor that they had received potassium acetate instead of potassium chloride from a pharmacist.

The discovery prompted new questions about past executions, including Warner’s.

Fallin declined to say whether she still has confidence in prisons director Robert Patton. She said she would wait until Attorney General Scott Pruitt completes an investigation.

Patton oversaw both Warner’s execution and the April 2014 lethal injection of Clayton Lockett, who writhed on the gurney, moaned, and pulled up from his restraints before he finally died 43 minutes later.


Warner’s death was delayed for months after Lockett’s execution went awry.