Oklahoma Execution Gone Awry

An Oklahoma inmate died Tuesday night, as he was supposed to, but the execution did not go according to plan.

Clayton Lockett was a rapist and murderer, but Tuesday night he was the one who was suffering.  He was on death row and was set to be killed that night, but something went horribly wrong.  He was to die by lethal injection, which is a three step process.  The first step is to inject a drug that knocks the convicted unconscious.  The next drug paralyzes the criminal, and the final one stops their heart.  Seven minutes after the first drug was injected, Lockett was still awake.  He tried to get up and speak.  The execution was stopped, and Lockett died 43 minutes after the first injection.

If the idea was to make the man suffer, then mission accomplished.  However, I don’t think that was the case.  In the past, the United States has taken steps toward making executions more humane, and some states don’t use capital punishment.  The idea is to rid the earth of a terrible human as quickly and painlessly as possible, and this time things did not go according to plan.

As one might imagine, this has led to a great spark in the ongoing debate of whether or not capital punishment should be used throughout the United States.  Obviously, those who are against capital punishment just received a strong factor to support their argument, and the debate is a relevant one.  This is the second time a failed lethal injection has occurred in the past few months in the state of Oklahoma alone.

Lockett’s family is considering a lawsuit against the state. “I’m not seeking financial gain from this,” said Ladonna Hollins, stepmother of Lockett, to NBC News.  “My main thing is I want the process changed.”

An investigation is being launched into the execution and the state has delayed executions.  “No execution should take place in Oklahoma until there has been time for a thorough and truly independent investigation into the protocol, the drugs and the manner in which Oklahoma carries out executions,” said the attorney of Charles Warner, another death row inmate.  Warner raped and killed an eleven-month old baby.  His execution was rescheduled to May 13.

Looking at images of the bed in which the execution occurred, something ironic stuck out.  The bed features a series of straps and restraints to hold down the person that is to be killed.  The kicker?  Well, it’s a pillow at the head of the bed, as if to make the inmate feel comfortable.