Washington-An Oklahoma man convicted of a double murder was put to death by lethal injection in the US state of Oklahoma on Thursday, the 24th and final execution to be carried out in the United States this year. Phillip Hancock, 59, was executed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, a spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Corrections said.
He had been sentenced to death for the April 2001 murders of Robert Jett and James Lynch, members of a biker gang.
Though the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board had recommended that Hancock -- who claimed he had acted in self-defense -- be granted clemency, it was denied by Governor Kevin Stitt. Hancock claimed he shot Jett and Lynch during a struggle after they tried to force him into a cage at Jett’s Oklahoma City residence. Shawn Nolan, one of Hancock’s attorneys, denounced the governor for ignoring the clemency recommendation from the parole board. “We are profoundly sad that Oklahoma executed Phil for protecting himself from a violent attack,” Nolan said in a statement. “This was a clear case of self-defense and the governor and the state ignored a wealth of evidence showing that Phil was fighting for his life,” he said
“He fought to stay out of a cage to defend his life only to be caged and tragically killed by the state.”