UPDATE 8:15 a.m. - The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s office has confirmed Clayton Lockett’s body has been sent to Dallas for an independent autopsy.
UPDATE 2:03 p.m. - Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered an independent review of Oklahoma’s lethal injection procedures after Clayton Lockett’s botched execution Tuesday night.
UPDATE 1:07 p.m. – CNN is reporting White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “there is a standard that the death penalty, when it is justified, must be carried out humanely, and in this case it fell short of that standard.”
UPDATE 12:10 p.m. – What went wrong? We will be talking with Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, about what could have botched Lockett’s execution and the medical details of the lethal injection process today at 4:30 p.m. on NewsChannel 4. Watch the interview live streaming at 4:30 p.m. here.
UPDATE 12:02 p.m.: Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley said the unprecedented execution underscores the brutality of the death penalty and urged Oklahomans to weigh carefully the demands of justice and mercy.
He said, “The execution of Clayton Lockett really highlights the brutality of the death penalty and I hope it leads us to consider whether we should adopt a moratorium on the death penalty or even abolish it altogether.”
The Archbishop said the way we treat criminals says a lot about our society.
“We certainly need to administer justice with due consideration for the victims of crime but we must find a way of doing so that does not contribute to the culture of death, which threatens to completely erode our sense of the innate dignity of the human person and of the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death,” Archbishop Coakley said.
UPDATE: Gov. Mary Fallin is speaking on the botched lethal injection and the stay of execution at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.
LIVE: Watch Gov. Fallin speak live here at 1:30 p.m. (If the top video player is not working for you, mute the sound and scroll down to the second player.
UPDATE: MCALESTER, Okla. – The Oklahoma Department Of Corrections said because of complications with Clayton Lockett’s execution, the execution of Charles Warner would be delayed 14 days.
D.O.C. Director Robert Patton said Lockett received his first injection at 6:23 p.m.
Seven minutes later, the other drugs were injected into his body.
However, Lockett maintained consciousness and witnesses say he began slowly convulsing.
Minutes later, a doctor in the room decided to stop the execution after a “vein line had blown” in Lockett, according to Patton.
At 7:06 p.m., 43 minutes after his first injection, Lockett suffered a heart attack and died inside the execution room, Patton said.
NewsChannel 4’s Courtney Francisco was a witness to the scheduled execution, she provided the following time line:
6:23 PM – Prison officials raise the blinds. Execution begins.
6:28 PM – Inmate shivering, sheet shaking. Breathing deep.
6:29 PM – Inmate blinking and gritting his teeth. Adjusts his head.
6:30 PM – Prison officials check to see if inmate is unconscious. Doctor says “He’s not unconscious”. Inmate says “I’m not.” Female prison official says, “Mr. Lockett is not unconscious.”
6:32 PM – Inmate’s breathing is normal, mouth open, eyes shut. For a second time, prison officials check to see if inmate is unconscious.
6:33 PM – Doctor says, “He is unconscious.” Prison official says “Mr. Lockett is unconscious.”
6:34 PM – Inmate’s mouth twitches. No sign of breathing.
6:35 PM – Mouth movement.
6:36 PM – Inmate’s head moves from side to side, then lifts his head off the bed.
6:37 PM – Inmate lifts his head and feet slightly off the bed. Inmate tries to say something, mumbles while moving body.
6:38 pm – More movement by the inmate. At this point the inmate is breathing heavily and appears to be struggling.
6:39 PM – Inmate tries to talk. Says “Man” and appears to be trying to get up. Doctor checks on inmate. Female prison official says, “We are going to lower the blinds temporarily”. Prison phone rings. Director of Prisons, Robert Patton answers the phone and leaves the room – taking three state officials with him.
Minutes later – The Director Of Prisons comes back into the room and tells the eyewitnesses that there has been a vein failure. He says, “The chemical did not make it into the vein of the prisoner. Under my authority, we are issuing a stay of execution.”
Governor Mary Fallin issued a stay for Warner after Lockett’s botched execution.
“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,” Gov. Fallin said. “I have issued an executive order delaying the execution of Charles Frederick Warner for 14 days to allow for that review to be completed.”
Warner’s execution is scheduled for May 13.
Madeline Cohen, Charles Warner’s attorney, is demanding answers after tonight’s botched execution.
“After weeks of Oklahoma refusing to disclose basic information about the drugs for tonight’s lethal injection procedures, tonight, Clayton Lockett was tortured to death,” said Cohen. “Without question, we must get complete answers about what went wrong. There must be an independent investigation conducted by a third-party entity, not the Department of Corrections. We also need an autopsy by an independent pathologist and full transparency about the results of its findings. Additionally, the state must disclose complete information about the drugs, including their purity, efficacy, source and the results of any testing. Until much more is known about tonight’s failed experiment of an execution, no execution can be permitted in Oklahoma.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is also calling for a full investigation into the execution as well as an immediate moratorium on all executions pending the outcome of the investigation.
Executive Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma said, “”In Oklahoma’s haste to conduct a science experiment on two men behind a veil of secrecy, our state has disgraced itself before the nation and world. The greatest power any government has over an individual is to take that person’s life. More than any other power, the exercise of the power to kill must be accompanied by due process and transparency. This evening we saw what happens when we allow the government to act in secret at its most powerful moment and the consequences of trading due process for political posturing. This is not about whether these two men are guilty; that is not in dispute. Rather, it comes down to whether we trust the government enough to allow it to kill its citizens, even guilty ones, in a secret process.”
Brady Henderson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Oklahoma believes there is a lot to learn from tonight’s events.
Henderson said, “We hope that courts will reconsider whether transparency about the drugs used in executions is required as a matter of law. After tonight, there’s no speculation needed to appreciate that there are fundamental failures in our execution process. It is important to remember that the State of Oklahoma continues to deny relatively simple requests from condemned men to find out about the drugs that will be used to kill them. There are serious concerns about the lethal injection process in light of more and more botched executions conducted with questionable drugs from questionable sources, and an Oklahoma law now bars inmates (and everybody else) from finding out important information needed to ensure compliance with the Constitution. In other words, it puts a veil of secrecy over one of the most grave functions of state government–killing its own citizens. If we are to have executions at all, they must not be conducted like hastily thrown together human science experiments.”
MCALESTER, Okla. Two Oklahoma death row inmates will be executed Tuesday night after weeks of legal battles involving their attempt to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them.
Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner have argued the state’s secrecy over the combination of lethal drugs violates their constitutional rights and could result in a cruel and unusual death.
Lockett and Warner are part of a double execution which the state has not carried out since the late 1930s.
Clayton Lockett, found guilty of kidnapping, beating, raping and shooting a 19-year-old woman and then burying her alive will be put to death at 6 p.m. in McAlester at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
Charles Warner who was found guilty of raping and killing an 11-month-old baby in 1997 will follow with lethal injection at 8 p.m.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court eventually lifted a stay of execution and ruled the inmates’ claims were “frivolous and not grounded in the law.”
Justice Steven Taylor wrote:
“The plaintiffs have no more right to the information they requested than if they were being executed in the electric chair, they would have no right to know whether OG&E or PSO were providing the electricity; if they were being hanged, they would have no right to know whether it be cotton or nylon rope; or if they were being executed by firing squad, they would have no right to know whether it be by Winchester or Remington ammunition.”
Department Of Corrections Spokesperson Jerry Massie said the drugs that will be used are midazolam (creates drowsiness, anxiety), vecuronium bromide (muscle relaxer), and potassium chloride (stops heart).
Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, said the court’s decision affirmed a longstanding precedent that the source of the execution drugs should remain confidential to avoid “intimidation used by defense counsel and other anti-death penalty groups.”
“These death row inmates have not contested their guilt for murdering two innocent victims nor have they contested their sentences of death,” Clay said. “The legal wrangling of the attorneys for Lockett and Warner has served only to delay their punishment for the heinous crimes they committed.”
State Attorney General Scott Pruitt talked about Lockett’s heinous crimes in a statement:
“When Clayton Lockett made the choice to raise a shotgun and shoot 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman twice, he showed her no mercy. When he ordered his accomplice to bury her alive, he showed her no mercy. She begged him to spare her innocent life, and he showed no mercy. For his actions, he was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers, and now must face his punishment. The administration of the death penalty is a solemn duty carried out by the state. For more than 15 years, the state has worked diligently to see the will of the jury carried out and to ensure justice is served for Stephanie’s brutal murder. The courts have ruled the State of Oklahoma has done its job to ensure these executions proceed in accordance with the law. My thoughts and prayers are with Stephanie’s family and friends, and with the other victims of Lockett’s repeated crimes.”
State Attorney General Scott Pruitt talked about Warner’s offenses in a statement:
“Adrianna was an innocent child who deserved protection from her caregivers, not unimaginable violence. Charles Warner committed unspeakable acts against this beautiful girl, and was sentenced to death by a jury of his peers. Now, he must face his punishment. Warner has never shown remorse for the brutal rape and murder of Adrianna. After unprecedented legal wrangling and more than a decade of delay, Adrianna will finally receive justice.”
Charles Warner’s attorney, Madeline Cohen, released this statement about the controversy surrounding her client’s execution:
“Because the issue of secrecy in lethal injection has not been substantively addressed by the courts, Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner will be executed without basic information about the experimental combination of drugs used in their deaths. Despite repeated requests by counsel, the state has refused, again, and again, to provide information about the source, purity, testing and efficacy of the drugs to be used. It’s not even known whether the drugs were purchased legally. In addition to the secrecy surrounding these executions, intense and inappropriate political pressure on Oklahoma’s judiciary from the Oklahoma Governor and Legislature has put a permanent stain on this entire process. Following an unconscionable 48-hour period of political intimidation, including the Governor attempting to override the Court’s stay of execution, and the introduction in the Oklahoma House of Representatives of articles of impeachment against the Justices who voted for the stay, the state’s highest court rescinded the stays. In a more appropriate political climate, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court could have taken a thorough look at this secrecy and ensured that all laws were carefully followed. Instead, we will never know.”
The Oklahoma Attorney General claims Lockett and Warner’s attorneys falsely claim the state has refused to provide them basic information about the drugs used to execute their clients.
The following information has been provided by the State:
- Execution protocols
- the name of the manufactured drugs
- the dosages of the drugs to be used
- expiration dates of each manufactured drug to be used in the execution
- assurances the drugs are FDA approved
- assurances the drugs came from a licensed source
Before they are executed, the inmates were given a last meal request with the limit of $15.00.
For his last meal, Warner requested:
- 20 piece hot wings(KFC)
- Large potato wedges
- 20 oz Coca Cola
- 2 cups of fruit cocktail
- Cole slaw
For Lockett’s last meal he requested:
- Chateaubriand steak – medium rare with A1 Steak Sauce
- Fried shrimp entrée with cocktail sauce
- Large baked potato with topping (butter, sour cream, chopped scallions, bacon bits, salt and pepper)
- Garlic butter toast (6 pieces)
- Kentucky Boubon Pecan Pie (whole pie)
- Coke Cola Classic (1 liter)
- Bag of ice
According to documents, Lockett was denied the meal request due to it being out of price range.
The warden offered Lockett a steak dinner from Western Sizziling but Lockett declined the offer.
Lockett stated that if he could not have his meal request, he would go without.
Lockett was convicted in August of 2000 of the first degree murder of 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman.
He admitted to shooting Neiman several times and burying her alive.
Neiman’s family are glad justice will finally be served.
“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.”
Warner was convicted of raping and murdering his live-in girlfriend’s 11-month-old baby, Adriana Waller, in 1997.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The state of Oklahoma will execute two men on the same day for the first time in more than 80 years.
Prison officials are working on the logistics right now.
The state supreme court cleared the way to proceed with the execution Tuesday.
They ruled the rights of the inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner were not violated and the state did not have to provide information on the supplier of the execution drugs.
The two convicted murderers filed a civil lawsuit against the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in February.
They said they fear dying in a cruel or unusual manner.
The two were originally scheduled to die in March, but the dates were pushed back.
Lockett was convicted of a violent Perry home invasion in 1999.
A 18-year-old woman was raped and killed.
She was found buried in a shallow grave.
Two others who were inside the home were beaten and kidnapped in the crime.
Warner is convicted of raping and killing an 11-month-old child in 1997.
To read more about the original story, click here.
To read more about the execution dates being pushed back, click here.