Oklahoma Prisons Chief Resignation

FILE - Scott Crow, director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. Crow, who oversaw the agency's return to carrying out executions after a 7-year hiatus, announced his resignation in a statement Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Scott Crow, who helped oversee the state's return to carrying out the death penalty after a nearly seven-year hiatus, announced Monday he's stepping down.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Crow did not cite a reason for stepping down, but called it "one of the most difficult decisions I've ever encountered."

Crow, who was appointed director by Gov. Kevin Stitt in 2019 following nearly 25 years with the agency, helped oversee the state's return to carrying out lethal injections. In 2020, he joined Stitt and then-Attorney General Mike Hunter in announcing that the state had secured a source for the lethal injection drugs and planned to move forward with executions that were put on hold following a series of death-chamber mishaps.

Crow was inside the death chamber for the last four lethal injections in Oklahoma, including the October 2021 execution of John Marion Grant who convulsed and vomited on the gurney as he was executed.

During testimony before a federal judge earlier this year, Crow confirmed that the state used the wrong drug labels during three recent executions, but said despite the error, he remained "100% confident" the proper drugs were used.

"I was not at all happy about that development," Crow said during the hearing.

Crow joined the agency in 1996 after a career in law enforcement. His last day as director will be Oct. 31.

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