Oklahoma Execution Goes Horribly Wrong

John Grant’s botched execution shows how cruel the death penalty can be.

Sarah Terzo
4 min readDec 10, 2021


Prisoner about to be given a lethal injection, in the manner of John Grant’s Oklahoma execution. Judge’s gavel in background.
Photo By Zeferli at Canva

On October 28th, John Grant, 60, was executed in Oklahoma. Witnesses say the execution was botched, and that Grant suffered convulsions and vomiting before he died.

Eyewitness to the Oklahoma Execution

Reporter Dan Snyder, who witnessed Grant’s death, described his final moments in a piece written for KOKH Fox 25 out of Oklahoma City.

Snyder said that the order of execution was read just after 4 PM. Grant’s microphone was turned off after Grant shouted obscenities. The first drug, Midazolam, was then injected.

Midazolam is the first drug of the three-drug cocktail that’s used in Oklahoma executions. It is supposed to render the person unconscious. The second drug is given to stop the person’s breathing and the third to stop their heart.

Midazolam has been the subject of lawsuits by prison inmates.

According to Snyder:

Almost immediately after the drug was administered, Grant began convulsing, so much so that his entire upper back repeatedly lifted off the gurney.

As the convulsions continued, Grant then began to vomit. Multiple times over the course of the next few minutes medical staff entered the death chamber to wipe away and remove vomit from the still-breathing Grant.

Another source indicated that Grant endured two dozen full body convulsions.

Grant was declared unconscious by medical staff at 4:15 PM. This means his suffering may have lasted as long as almost 15 minutes.

When Grant was pronounced dead, one of the observers began to cry. She was a woman who was attending the execution on Grant’s behalf. Another one of Grant’s friends or family members tried to comfort her.

A History of Botched Lethal Injections

The execution of John Grant was not Oklahoma’s first botched execution, though. In 2014, another incarcerated person was left “writhing on the gurney” after lethal drugs were injected.



Sarah Terzo

Sarah Terzo is a consistent life blogger who has dedicated her life to writing and researching about topics such as abortion, war, and the death penalty.