Judge Clears Path for Execution

Oklahoma City, OK –

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) A federal judge has denied an Oklahoma death row inmate's request to block his execution scheduled for next week.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot's decision means the execution of Donald Ray Wackerly will proceed on Thursday.

Friot ruled Friday night that Wackerly didn't present enough evidence to show that Oklahoma's lethal injection protocol is unconstitutional. His defense attorneys claimed that his execution should be blocked because of a nationwide shortage of one of the drugs used in the process, a fast-acting anesthetic called sodium thiopental.

Corrections officials testified they have just one five-gram dose of the drug and no plan to get more if it is spoiled.

Wackerly was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die for the 1996 death of fisherman Pan Sayakhoummane in Sequoyah County.