Oklahoma tried to execute Clayton Lockett tonight and failed horribly, fifteen minutes after the drugs were administered the execution was called off.
Director Robert Patton halted Lockett’s execution about 20 minutes after the first drug was administered. He says there was a vein failure.
Lockett was writhing on the gurney and shaking uncontrollably.
Prison officials said they will try to get Lockett to hospital to resuscitate him.
— Bailey Elise McBride (@baileyelise) April 30, 2014
At 7:06 Lockett died of a "massive heart attack," according to Patton. Warner's execution stayed for 14 days.
— Max Resnik (@meresnik) April 30, 2014
The execution was controversial to begin with because they were using a secret mixture of drugs never used before. Both inmates sued to have the ingredients and source revealed but lost in court. It has been difficult to get death penalty drugs, from an April 21 euronews article:
The United States is having difficulty getting the drugs it needs to kill condemned prisoners humanely, putting the death penalty under pressure.
Companies don’t want to be connected to it, and abolitionists are against the older ways of killing.
Oklahoma has suspended the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner — a man who raped and murdered a woman and a man who raped and murdered a baby — after the state was unable to answer their questions whether an untested combination of drugs sold as lethal would work as predicted.
The constitution says those to die have a right to know how it will be, but more authorities are being secretive about supplies, as traditional sources dry up, complicating things.
Then they went to court.
Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner were both scheduled to die after a state Supreme Court ruled that the men were not entitled to know the source of the lethal injection drugs.
Jerry Massie, public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, told reporters that the drug cocktail used in Lockett’s and Warner’s executions had never been tried before by the State of Oklahoma. As such, it was unclear how long the execution might take.
Charles Warner’s execution was then stayed for two weeks.
He also issued a 14-day postponement in the execution of inmate Charles Warner, who had been scheduled to die on Tuesday, two hours after Lockett was put to death.
Yesterday Sunday the Boston Globe presciently published the article:
What botched executions tell us about the death penalty
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin this evening issued a stay of execution for one inmate after prison officials said another inmate’s veins collapsed during an earlier execution procedure.
“I have asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening’s execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett,” said Fallin. “I have issued an executive order delaying the execution of Charles Frederick Warner for 14 days to allow for that review to be completed.”
Lockett’s execution was halted when it appeared the lethal injection administered to him was ineffective. He remained unconscious and passed away in the execution chamber at 7:06 p.m.
Execution officials said Lockett remained unconscious after the lethal injection drugs were administered.
The governor issued an executive order granting a 14-day stay for inmate Warner, who was scheduled to be executed two hours after Lockett’s procedure began. Warner’s execution is scheduled for May 13.
Lockett was convicted of a 1999 fatal shooting of a woman and Warner was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s baby daughter in 1997.
Here is the statement from Stephanie Neiman’s family, she was only 19 years old. AFAIK this was prepared before the execution began.
God blessed us with our precious daughter, Stephanie for 19 years. Stephanie loved children.
She worked in Vacation Bible School and always helped with our Church nativity scenes. She was the joy of our life. We are thankful this day has finally arrived and justice will finally be served.
Susie and Steve Neiman, 4-29-14
Neiman family statement given after Clayton Lockett's death. pic.twitter.com/Vncgsrj1E1
— Max Resnik (@meresnik) April 30, 2014
According to the New York Times, the line had blown, not his vein.
The administering doctor intervened and discovered that “the line had blown,” said the director of corrections, Robert Patton, meaning that drugs were no longer flowing into his vein.