Oklahoma's prison system plans to be ready for three scheduled executions, with an overhaul of the state's protocol and a “major reconstruction” of the death chamber, reports the Tulsa World. Yesterday marked the first time Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton has publicly addressed what went wrong April 29, the night Clayton Lockett's execution went awry. A state investigation last week cited problems with the IV that was supposed to deliver the lethal drugs as “the single greatest factor” behind problems in the 43-minute execution. There was also no backup plan if things went wrong.
Patton said his agency would implement changes recommended by the reportor, including improvements in training, tools, communication and an overhaul of the execution chamber. “It is the intention of the agency to be ready come Nov. 13,” Patton said. That is the date Gov. Mary Fallin chose for the rescheduled execution of convicted killer Charles Warner, who was supposed to die immediately after Lockett. Dale Baich, an attorney representing Oklahoma death-row prisoners, said: “The execution of Mr. Lockett represented multiple foundational failures of leadership, including the systemic lack of transparency which has marked this execution since before it began. Any changes in the protocol will need to be carefully studied to determine if the many problems identified … are appropriately addressed.”