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May 1, 2014

New details emerge concerning ugly Oklahoma execution

As reported in this article from The Guardian, headlined "Oklahoma inmate Tasered by prison staff on day of botched execution; Timeline report from director of Oklahoma corrections department also recommends indefinite stay of executions in the state," some interesting new details about Tuesday night's ugly execution are starting to emerge.  Here are some of the new details:

Clayton Lockett, the death-row inmate who was the subject of a botched execution by the state of Oklahoma, was Tasered by prison staff and had cut his own arm on the day of the failed procedure, according to a timeline released by the state's corrections chief on Thursday.

The interim report by the director of the corrections department, Robert Patton, found that medical staff could not find a suitable vein anywhere on his body in which to inject the lethal drugs intended to kill him and had to use his groin area. It recommends an indefinite stay of executions in Oklahoma until procedures for judicial killings in the state are completely rewritten and staff retrained. The execution of another inmate, Charles Warner, also due to have been carried out on Tuesday, has already been postponed.

"It will take several days or possibly weeks to refine the new protocols," Patton wrote in a letter to the Republican governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin. "Once written, staff will require extensive training and understanding of new protocols before an execution can be scheduled. I recommend asking the court of criminal appeals to issue an indefinite stay of execution." Patton said he supported an "external investigation" of Lockett's death....

The timeline released by Patton shows that just after 5am on Tuesday, Lockett had refused to be restrained when officers arrived to take him for X-rays. A correctional emergency response team (Cert) was called to use force on him, and he was Tasered at 5.50am. Three minutes later he was found to have a self-inflicted cut on his arm. At 8.15am, the wound was determined not to be serious enough to require sutures.

Oklahoma's timeline also goes into detail about what happened before and during the attempted execution. At 5.22pm, Lockett was restrained on the execution table, but a suitable vein could not be found anywhere on his body in which to insert an intravenous line. His legs and arms were rejected before a doctor examined his neck, and then finally his groin.

The timeline reveals that the insertion point was covered by a sheet "to prevent witness viewing of the groin area". The execution began at 6.23pm with the injection of the first of a cocktail of three drugs, but the intravenous line – covered by the sheet – was only checked after 6.44pm, when the blinds between the execution chamber and the viewing room were lowered.

The report says: "The doctor checked the IV and reported the blood vein had collapsed, and the drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both. The warden immediately contacted the director by phone and reported the information to the director."

According to the timeline, Patton asked if enough drugs had been administered to cause death, to which the doctor replied "no". The director then asked if another vein was available to complete the execution, and if so, were there enough drugs left. The doctor answered no to both questions, the timeline reveals. The doctor reported a "faint heartbeat", and at 6.56pm, Patton called off the execution. The timeline does not detail what happened between then and 7.06pm, when Lockett was declared dead.

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May 1, 2014 at 04:54 PM | Permalink


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Here's hoping that some enterprising reporters will find the name of the pharmacy that is responsible for these drugs. Maybe some bad publicity will shame pharmacies from providing these drugs.

Posted by: william r. delzell | May 1, 2014 6:57:45 PM

No dignity at all here folks. Tied down on a gurney after being tasered. Can not find a vein. They go for the groin. Oh, that is dignified. They don't watch. The poisons leak out. He croaks anyway.

Tie him to a pole standing up. Six men shoot him simultaneously from thirty feet away, the Governor of The Great State of Oklahoma being the lead shooter who yells Fire! Burn the body. Spread the ashes over the prison grounds. Two at once are cheaper. Open it to the public. Oklahoma State University football field would be fitting. At halftime.

Posted by: Liberty1st | May 1, 2014 8:39:56 PM

"They would have done better using an axe." - George Westinghouse on an early attempt to use an electric chair.

Posted by: Boffin | May 2, 2014 12:16:00 AM

Why can't we make a case for this murderer's innocence, Clayton Lockett?
Or for anyone in years?

Too many executed innocents, too little time?

Posted by: Adamakis | May 2, 2014 11:23:59 AM

Why, if they only put an IV in his groin area, do witness reports say there was an IV in each arm?

Posted by: lawyer | May 2, 2014 2:31:15 PM

"" shame pharmacies from providing these drugs ""
Why should they have shame?
The murderer here who buried an innocent lady
alive should be shamed, and so ought you for
seeking to thuggishly stop the execution of
this torturer and others.

Posted by: Adamakis | May 2, 2014 8:46:00 PM

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