OK-CADP responds to denial of clemency for Donald Anthony Grant

Oklahoma City – On Tuesday (November 30) the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to deny clemency to Donald Anthony Grant.

In a press release, Grant was described as “brain-damaged” and suffering from schizophrenia. Grant, 46, has been on death row for two decades for the 2001 killing of Brenda McElyea and Suzette Smith.

In a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK.com and other news organizations, Rev. Don Heath, chairman of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP) responded to the Board’s action.

Heath said:

“We are surprised and disappointed with the Pardon and Parole Board’s rejection of Donald Grant’s clemency request. Cases of mental illness are particularly appropriate for clemency. Grant’s life story is horrific: prenatal brain injuries, a childhood filled with abuse, neglect and homelessness, no treatment for his mental illness until he is incarcerated.

“Death row is the most stable environment he has lived in. And it doesn’t matter. It reveals the extent to which our criminal justice system is broken that a 4-1 majority of the Board could not show any mercy to a person who has had such a traumatic life.”

Donald Grant would be the second person executed in Oklahoma since executions were resumed following a six-year moratorium. John Marion Grant was executed by lethal injection on October 28. https://www.capitolbeatok.com/reports/oklahoma-coalition-against-the-death-penalty-ok-cadp-and-anti-execution-attorney-comment-on-the-death-of-john-marion-grant/

Sean Murphy of The Associated Press has covered Oklahoma’s death penalty process in recent decades https://www.city-sentinel.com/criminal_justice/oklahoma-parole-board-rejects-clemency-for-death-row-inmate/article_14f6d874-776e-5428-9351-b968684a9c27.html. He reported after the execution of John Marion Grant that the man suffered two dozen full-body convulsions and had to have vomit wiped from his mouth twice before he was pronounced dead.

The Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals has issued death warrants setting additional execution dates for Bigler Stouffer (December 9), Wade Lay (January 6, 2022), Gilbert Postelle (February 17), and James Coddington (March 10).

NOTE: Patrick B. McGuigan, founder and editor of CapitolBeatOK.com, an independent, non-partisan and locally-managed news service based in Oklahoma City, contributed to this report.