Traditional and social media around the nation are exploding with the news of last night’s botched execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett. Lockett died after the State of Oklahoma, using a new and untested drug combination, aborted the procedure when it was clear that the execution was not proceeding as planned.
News reports and witnesses relate that Lockett cried out “man” and that he writhed and struggled to get off the gurney after he was supposed to be unconscious. Officials closed the blinds to the viewing gallery after Lockett struggled.
The event lasted at least 43 minutes. Lockett’s cause of death was reported to be a massive heart attack.
This was to have been a double execution, the state’s first since 1937. The execution of the other condemned man, Charles Warner, has been postponed. It is clear that Oklahoma should halt all executions and carry out an independent investigation.
“We know that the death penalty is fraught with risk, error and expense, and it does nothing to protect society from future crime,” said Donna Schneweis, Chair of the Kansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (KCADP). Lethal injection is not an acceptable method for states who still carry out the death penalty as shown in last night’s event and the prolonged and grotesque execution of Ohio convicted killer Dennis McGuire in January. Last night’s execution in Oklahoma, like the one in Ohio in January, undermine public confidence in our criminal justice system.
The solution is to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The death penalty should not continue.
The Kansas Coalition Against the Death Penalty (KCADP), The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the National Coalition and many others are calling for change. This shocking event serves as an even greater motivation to abolish the death penalty in Kansas and join 18 other states that have already outlawed this archaic practice.