By Bobby Ross Jr. | For Agence France-Presse
Oklahoma City (AFP) – This November, voters in the state of Oklahoma will not only help choose the next U.S. president, but also decide a ballot measure with big implications for the future of the death penalty.
Capital punishment is on hold in the southwestern state after a series of botched executions. With lethal injection drugs becoming harder to acquire, there are doubts whether Oklahoma can resume executions unless a new method is approved.
The ballot measure, known as State Question 776, aims to head off any attempts to end capital punishment by asking voters to enshrine it in the state constitution and empower legislators to decide the best method of execution.
“We’re allowing the people, who overwhelmingly favor the death penalty in Oklahoma, to show certain entities that they want this,” said state representative Mike Ritze, an Oklahoma Republican who was one of the proposal’s authors.
The measure is expected to pass on November 8, enjoying over 70 percent support according to a June poll.
But there have been a lot of questions raised in the last several years over the state’s death penalty.