The execution of Oklahoma killer Clayton Lockett was botched last night before he died of a massive heart attack, reports the Tulsa World. The event prompted officials to postpone a second execution that had been scheduled for two hours later. Lockett was given execution drugs and reacted violently, kicking and grimacing while lifting his head off the gurney to which he was strapped. He was pronounced dead 43 minutes after the process began, Corrections Director Robert Patton said. He said Lockett’s veins “exploded” during the execution. The death occurred after the execution process had been halted. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers said the “grotesque spectacle” showed that the death penalty is “at its core, a barbaric and medieval practice.
“Gov. Mary Fallin delayed the execution of Charles Warner for two weeks while the Lockett case is reviewed. It was the first in Oklahoma using a new three-drug cocktail of vecuronium bromide, midazolam and potassium chloride. Patton said during the process: “We've had a vein failure in which the chemicals did not make it into the offender. Under my authority, we're issuing a stay for the second execution.” About 15 minutes after the blinds were closed to the death chamber, media witnesses were told to exit the area. Journalist Lis Exon witnessed the execution along with 11 other media representatives. “I was nervous going in but pretty much expected it would be fairly seamless and done in a few minutes. When he stayed conscious after they started administering the drugs, … I kept thinking, ‘Why isn't he going under? Why is he still conscious?’ ” She added: “It was so startling and hard to watch. … It just seemed like it went on and on forever.”