U.S.

Oklahoma Botches Double Execution Using Untested Drugs

For weeks, the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner have been the focus of debates over constitutional authority in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Botches Double Execution Using Untested Drugs
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
SMS

Oklahoma's first double execution since 1937 went horribly wrong Tuesday night, as the state botched one execution and delayed another in response. Tulsa's KJRH says it's all due to the failed delivery of a controversial drug combination.

For weeks, the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner have been the focus of debates over constitutional authority. Oklahoma's Supreme Court had ordered a stay on the executions to review the drug combination set to be used. (Via Time)

But Republican Gov. Mary Fallin told the Department of Corrections to push ahead with the executions. After legislators threatened the court with impeachment, the justices complied. (Via U.S. Department of Defense)

Tuesday, the executions did move forward, with ugly results. Lockett was scheduled first.

The AP's Bailey McBride was just outside the execution chamber and posted updates on Twitter, writing Lockett survived far longer after the drugs were delivered than executioners intended. When the drugs were given, Lockett's vein burst, and he began to seize before again gaining consciousness.

Elsewhere on Twitter, a Tulsa World reporter noted, "This type of scenario is exactly what attorneys for Lockett and Warner had argued might happen with Oklahoma using [an] untested method."

At 7:06 p.m. Lockett died of a massive heart attack in the execution chamber. That was 43 minutes after the execution began.

The drugs given to Lockett had never before been used in that dosage in an American execution. The Guardian reports both inmates had concerns over the ability of the drugs to kill them in a humane way.

An Ohio execution using one of the drugs used in Oklahoma prompted national controversy in January after the inmate took 20 minutes to die. Lockett's execution Tuesday took twice as long. (Via USA Today)

Lockett was denied his last meal after he requested a steak dinner that was over Oklahoma's $15 limit. Warner's execution was scheduled for 8 p.m. central time but has been pushed back two weeks.