Oklahoma Bungled Capital Punishment

OklahomaOklahoma governor Mary Fallin is asking for an inquiry into the states execution practices when a bungled capital punishment case went wrong. On April 29, 2014, death row sentenced inmate Clayton Lockett had his punishment halted after tossing and groaning on the table where he lay to perish. It was later told to news agencies that he had died from having a heart attack. An investigation into the cause of his death is underway and the public should have results tomorrow at the very earliest. Lockett had been imprisoned for convictions of murder and rape from over a decade ago.

Michael Thompson, Commissioner for the Department of Public Safety, has been requested to look into the origin of Lockett’s disastrous death. It is likely he will determine whether or not the Department of Corrections had doggedly pursued its own obligations in this fiasco. Until the cause of death is revealed in the matter of Clayton Lockett, inmate Charles Warner has been handed a two week reprieve. Warner had been scheduled to be terminated two hours after Lockett was dispatched. He had been in prison since 1997 for the violation and disposal of an 11 month old.

Since 1988, there have been 10 postulated cases where an inmate has been put under the gun in inhumane and often graphic ways. Most of the exsanguinations happened in Texas, which was the first state to use the method of lethal injection as a means of execution. Other states besides Oklahoma and Texas that have bungled capital punishment include Missouri, Ohio, Florida, Indiana and Illinois. It appears the problem is the actual injection itself. Many of the specialists who administer the fatal doses have a hard time finding the vein in which to insert the needle; one even put the instrument through the vein and popped it out the other side of one unfortunate victim.

Currently, Oklahoma uses three separate chemicals in the cocktail they administer to inmates for the injection. One is to knock them out, the next is to stop their breathing and the last is used to stop the heart. All in all, it sounds very quick and a humane way to go. Yet lawyers for inmates, who are languishing on death row, claim that the drugs utilized in Oklahoma and elsewhere cause an unnatural and tortuous death, which is a direct violation of the American Constitution. They are asking for the state to change its use of new chemicals in the cocktail they administer and are charging that this will not be the last time that Oklahoma has bungled the capital punishment process. However, Oklahoma and various other states are finding it harder to acquire more suppliers due to most of the European makers appointing a ban on sales. Suppliers of the chemicals disagree on its use for lethal injections in America.

The family of Lockett would like an independent investigation into his death, one that is separate from Oklahoma’s current administration. They feel that there would be no impartiality with an investigation by the Oklahoma Government, seeing as how the state has bungled this capital punishment

By Korrey Laderoute

The Washington Post

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