McALESTER, Okla. – There is new fallout from Tuesday night’s botched execution in Mcalester.
From our state capitol to the White House and beyond, questions are being asked.
Did Oklahoma officials fail in their responsibility to carry out Clayton Lockett’s execution in a humane manner?
Wednesday Governor Mary Fallin said she still believes in the death penalty.
“However, I also believe the state needs to be certain of its protocols and procedures for executions and that they work,” Fallin said.
Fallin has ordered a review of what happened.
Investigators will figure out what officially killed Clayton Lockett.
They will determine whether prison officials followed current protocol and try to improve what is on the books now.
At the White House Wednesday President Obama’s spokesperson was asked about the botched execution.
“We have a fundamental standard in this country, that even when the death penalty is justified it must be carried out humanely,” he said. “I think everyone can recognize that this case fell short of that standard.
The bottom line is everyone wants to know what went wrong Wednesday night.
KFOR-TV reporter Courtney Francisco was an eyewitness to the execution.
“He was struggling to breathe. He was struggling to move,” Francisco said. “He said the word man. We all agreed he said the word man, and at that point the prison official that is trained to watch his reaction took her eyes off of him and looked out into the witness room, and my gut told me something was not right at that point. She said, ‘We’re going to go ahead and lower the blinds.’ And they did.”
The blinds down, but witnesses know something is up.
“At that point I said, ‘Wait a minute. We don’t know what’s going on on the other side of those blinds,'” she said. “And by law we’re supposed to be sitting here witnessing this execution to report back to the public what happened, but we don’t know what’s happening.”
It was not long before those sitting in on the execution learned Clayton Lockett died of a massive heart attack due to a vein failure – a botched execution.
The last execution mishap in Oklahoma was back in 1992.
Former KFOR-TV anchor Cherokee Ballard was there.
“I do remember some noises like he was not maybe being able to breath,” Ballard said. “I do remember thinking something may have been not right.”
Ballard has watched more than 10 executions.
For her, watching death row inmate Roger Dale Stafford’s final moments was chilling and still haunts her today.
“During that execution he spoke to me. He turned his head and looked and said ‘Hi, Cherokee.,'” Ballard said. “That one was a little bit hard to deal with. I had a few nightmares.”
Now some are calling Lockett’s execution a nightmare.
Many are asking was his execution even inhumane?
“I don’t know if it was humane or not. I’m not Clayton Lockett. I can’t answer that. Only he can, and he’s dead now,” Francisco said. “All I can do is tell the public what I saw, and how it played out, and that’s what happened.”
The medical examiner’s office has arranged to send Lockett’s remains to Texas where his autopsy will be done.