I’d love to hear someone explain to me how the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma doesn’t violate the 8th Amendment, which states “cruel and unusual punishments [shall not be] inflicted” (emphasis added).
The execution of Clayton Lockett was halted after a doctor acknowledged that because of problems in administering the drugs, there were not enough left to carry out the death sentence, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections said Thursday.
The revelation came as Oklahoma’s governor called for an investigation into the attempted execution that, according to some witnesses, left Lockett writhing in pain after a vein collapsed. A new and previously unused drug combination was reportedly used in the attempted execution.
A timeline released by the state Department of Corrections details what occurred after Lockett’s execution was abruptly halted and a shade was lowered, blocking the view of witnesses.
“The doctor checked the IV and reported the blood vein had collapsed, and the drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both,” according to the timeline.
The director of the corrections department then asked whether Lockett had been given enough of the drug combination to kill him, and the doctor said “no.”
“Is another vein available? And if so, are there enough drugs remaining?” the doctor was asked, according to the timeline.
The doctor’s answer to both questions: “No.”
Lockett’s attempted execution was carried out Tuesday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, where he had been housed following his conviction and death sentence for shooting Stephanie Nieman and then watching as two others buried her alive in 1999.
Lockett died from an apparent heart attack, 43 minutes after the execution began.
I can’t even begin to understand how letting someone suffer for 43 minutes before ultimately perishing does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment, and I’m shocked that anyone would think the circumstances surrounding Clayton Lockett’s execution were acceptable.