Botched Oklahoma execution reignites death penalty debate

death penalty

From washingtonpost.com –

Tuesday night’s botched execution in Oklahoma, which resulted in an inmate’s writhing death from a heart attack 43 minutes after he received what was supposed to be a lethal injection, was just one in a series of bungled execution attempts the past few years. It’s prompting calls for a moratorium on capital punishment from death penalty opponents.

The inmate, Clayton Lockett, was confirmed unconscious 10 minutes after the first dose in the state’s new three-drug protocol was administered. The first drug, midazolam, is intended to render a person unconscious. But three minutes later, he began breathing heavily, thrashing and straining to lift his head, media witnesses said.

Reporters for Tulsa World and KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City said Lockett called out from the gurney, “man.”

The blinds were then lowered to prevent people in the viewing gallery from seeing inside the death chamber. Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton answered a ringing phone and left the room with a few officials.

Patton told reporters Lockett’s vein line had “blown.” When asked what he meant,Patton said the vein had “exploded.”

Soon afterward, an alarmed Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin stayed for 14 days the other execution that was scheduled for Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported.

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