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043014 OK Death Row InmatesAn Oklahoma death row inmate has died from an apparent heart attack resulting from what seems to have been a botched execution.

Clayton Lockett was injected with the first drug, midazolam, which is supposed to cause unconsciousness, at 6:23 p.m. A doctor declared the 38-year-old inmate – who was convicted of first-degree murder and rape, kidnapping, and robbery –  to be unconscious at 6:33 p.m.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton later told reporters that after Lockett was sedated, he was given the second and third drugs in protocol, which were vecuronium bromide to then stop his breathing and potassium chloride to stop his heart.

And Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement indicating “execution officials said Lockett remained unconscious after the lethal injection drugs were administered.”

But according to CNN affiliate reporter Courtney Francisco, who witnessed the ordeal, Lockett’s mouth and head moved, and he seemingly tried to get up and talk, saying “man” about 16 minutes into the execution.

“It was extremely difficult to watch,” says Lockett’s attorney, David Autry.

Other reporters also claim that Lockett was “still alive,” and prison officials lowered the blinds so no one see what was happening.

“There was some concern at that time that the drugs were not having the effect, so the doctor observed the line and determined that the line had blown,” Patton says, before adding that Lockett’s vein had “exploded.”

Patton then made several phone calls before halting the execution. He also issued a 14-day stay for 46-year-old inmate Charles Warner, who was convicted of first-degree rape and murder of his then-girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter, and scheduled to be executed two hours after Lockett.

Both inmates had challenged Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections’ unwillingness to divulge which drugs would be used since European manufacturers had banned U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions, leaving 32 states to find new drug protocols. Lockett and Warner also took issue with the state’s so-called secrecy provision forbidding it from disclosing the identities of anyone involved in the execution process or suppliers of any drugs or medical equipment.

Oklahoma’s high court initially issued stays for the two inmates but lifted them last week, ruling they had no right to know the source of the drugs.

Lockett’s attorney questions the amount of midazolam given, saying he thinks it was “an overdose quantity.” Warner’s attorney, Madeline Cohen, says that further legal action can be expected given how “something went horribly awry.”

State Governor Fallin has ordered an investigation and issued an executive order granting a two-week delay in executions.

“I have asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening’s execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett,” she says in a statement.

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  • noirluv45

    I’m sorry that this man had to go through such torture, but then I think about what his victim went though. After I heard what happened to him and others who’ve experienced botched executions, I began to evaluate my pro-death penalty stance. But then I read about the cockroach Charles Warner, and the rape and murder of an 11 month old baby, I decided, YEP, I’m for it…in this case.

    Rapists and child molesters (if they actually committed the crime they are accused of) have no sympathy from me. I don’t think people like that get rehabilitated.

    • TT

      I completely agree. I don’t believe in the death penalty and am against torture however I don’t feel sympathy for people who have taken someone’s life. I’m kind of torn; the government should not be killing prisoners with cruel and unusual punishment and a lot of times people are wrongly convicted. But on the other side, I think about the victims, and how the murderers who actually were correctly convicted clearly did not care so why should I. My head says this is wrong but my heart says let them suffer as much as their victims had to.

    • noirluv45

      Agreed, TT.

    • Anthony

      I think the argument about victims can be a slippery slope. Often prosecutors have used the argument, “what about the victim,” to cover shoddy work and false prosecutions. “What about the victims,” can easily become an argument to kill somebody, anybody, because the victim died. That attitude was at the heart of the lynching culture that is still at the heart of sympathy for capital punishment in so much of America.

      What victims deserve most of all, is a quality investigation of the crimes against them that result in convictions based on quality police work, not simply killing somebody.

    • roo08

      He’s lucky he didn’t live during medieval times and commit this crime.

    • noirluv45

      For sure, roo08.

    • Anthony

      All I can say is that even the living among us are dealing with medieval attitudes when we see the loss of abortion rights, and the failure to put resources into battling climate change.

      Being humane and either sentencing criminals to life without parole, or at least not being in a rush to commit executions is not about the murderers, they get whatever they get. Having humane values is about those of us who see ourselves as law abiding. We should never get remotely close to the standards of a murderer.

  • lil ray

    I can care less about how a rapist/murder died. I am only angry that a child rapist got a stay of execution they should have went through with it anyway.

  • Anthony

    This may not make sense, I do not support the death penalty, but I also do not have sympathy for murderers on death row. They did the crime, so they need to deal with the punishment. My problem is that states like Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas act like they are about to have an orgasm every time they kill somebody. They are in such a hurry to execute, they take shortcuts that make the process more like torture than carrying out a lawful verdict. The constitution outlawed cruel an unusual punishment, and think that at the very least, the state should not sink to the sadistic level of a murderer.

    I think the main problem is the fallacy of humane execution. It is an oxymoron. Lethal injection is an attempt to make the process look clinical, and neat, but time and again, the reality that someone is being killed, just keeps making itself known. Frankly, hanging would be about as painless, it would just be much more obvious what was being done.

    My solution is to lock these evil people up, and throw away the key.

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  • Mary Burrell

    Sorry have no sympathy for this individual, what about how his victim?