OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections were so paranoid about the public disclosure of employees and information involved in executions that they “blatantly violated” internal and state policies, a recently released grand jury report said.

The report, ACLU of Oklahoma Legal Director Brady Henderson said, is also evidence that Oklahoma needs to eliminate “the ongoing circus that is the death penalty in Oklahoma.”

Detailed in a scathing, 106-page document, the 14th Interim Report from the Multicounty Grand Jury of Oklahoma harshly criticized the state’s handling of the execution of Charles Warner and the attempted killing of Richard Glossip.

The document also faulted the warden of Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Anita Trammell, DOC director Robert Patton, and Steve Mullins, general council for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.

Shortly after she testified, Trammel abruptly retired from her position. Both Patton and Mullins have since resigned from their jobs.

The report comes as Oklahoma’s government struggles to fix its beleaguered corrections system. For several years, the DOC has been criticized for its handling of executions, treatment of inmates, and the lack of transparency in the system.

And though the grand jury’s report acknowledged that DOC should work to safeguard the privacy of those participating in the execution of the death penalty, it also called on the agency to follow state law.

“The Department should follow laws requiring the documentation of purchases and inventories while still safeguarding the privacy of those participating in (the) execution of the death penalty,” the report said.

Yet even with those concerns, DOC “cannot, sacrifice the execution process in so doing,” the report said. “Internal documentation must be beyond reproach. There should be no question about which drugs are being purchased or what is entering the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for purposes of executions.”

That statement, Henderson said, shows just how dysfunctional Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections has become.

“The Oklahoma Department of Corrections needs to get serious about transparency,” Henderson, the attorney, said. “We’ve been saying this for years. There is far too much secrecy in DOC and that secrecy perpetuates far too many problems at DOC. That is not how our state government is supposed to work.”

In addition to preventing public accountability, the lack of transparency, the grand jury report said, contributed to the department’s use and subsequent near use of the wrong execution drug.

“The method by which the execution drugs were ordered contributed greatly to the Department's receipt of the wrong execution drugs,” the report noted. “Indeed, the process used by the Department to acquire the necessary drugs was questionable at best.  Further, the Department's General Counsel's failure to adhere to state purchasing requirements also contributed to the use of the wrong execution drugs, even though the Department was partially exempted from following state purchasing requirements when buying execution-related materials.”

Henderson said the report underscores the need for a change in state law, requiring more disclosure regarding the state’s death penalty system. He said the report raises serious questions as to whether or not the DOC can properly perform a humane execution.

“This report should be read by every member of the legislature,” Henderson said. “It underscores the elephant in the room: our state is not capable of humanely executing a condemned prisoner. This report gives us an opportunity to eliminate the inherently flawed system of capital punishment in Oklahoma and rid ourselves of further litigation, wasted state resources, and continued disgrace.”