NBC News posts, "Oklahoma Governor Says Execution Probe Will Be 'Independent'," by Tracy Connor. There is video at the link.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said she has tapped her public-safety commissioner to lead a state review of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett and an independent pathologist to declare a cause of death.
Fallin took no questions after delivering a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon, which began with a recitation of Lockett's crimes — he shot one woman and repeatedly raped another — and a summary of his failed appeals.
"I believe the legal process worked. I believe the death penalty is an appropriate response and punishment to those who commit heinous crimes," Fallin said.
But, she added, the state needs to be "certain" its execution protocols are proper and so authorized what she called "an independent review."
"Botched execution: Oklahoma governor pledges independent review," is Los Angeles Times coverage by Molly Hennessy-Fiske.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin promised an independent review of the state’s execution protocols Wednesday after a bungled execution raised questions about the state's handling of capital punishment.
The Republican governor emphasized, however, that she has faith that state officials were legally correct in proceeding with the execution over the objections of defense lawyers.
“I believe the legal process worked,” Fallin said, “I believe the death penalty is an appropriate response and punishment for those who commit heinous crimes.”
She said the state medical examiner will authorize an independent pathologist to determine Lockett’s cause of death.
“It will be the first step in evaluating our state’s execution protocols,” Fallin said.
"Oklahoma governor calls for independent review, will delay scheduled execution," is by Mark Berman for the Washington Post.
Fallin also said that the execution of Charles Warner, which had been scheduled to occur after Lockett’s on Tuesday night, will be delayed until the review is completed. She issued a two-week stay of execution for Warner on Tuesday, which pushes his execution back to May 13, but an additional stay will be issued if the review is still ongoing.
But Fallin made it clear she still believes Warner should be executed, saying that both Lockett and Warner had their time in court.
“I believe the legal process worked,” she said. “I believe the death penalty is an appropriate response and punishment to those who commit heinous crimes against their fellow men and women. However, I also believe the state needs to be certain of its protocols and procedures for executions and that they work.”
She took no questions after making her announcement during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
"Oklahoma legislator calls for execution moratorium," is an AP report, via the Danbury News Times.
A Democratic state senator and U.S. Senate candidate from Oklahoma City says she will introduce a resolution calling for a one-year moratorium on the death penalty.
Sen. Connie Johnson said Wednesday she planned to introduce the resolution in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Johnson is the latest in a growing chorus of voices for an execution moratorium following the state's botched execution of an inmate Tuesday night at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
The National Catholic Reporter posts, "After botched execution, OK archbishop denounces death penalty," by Brian Roewe.
In a statement Wednesday, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley offered prayers for the girl’s family, for Lockett, and for all involved.
He added the botched execution “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.”
But Coakley stopped short of advocating himself an end to capital punishment, saying that as people “recover our understanding” that life is a gift from God, “we will begin to recognize that there are and ought to be very strict limits to the legitimate use of the death penalty.”
Earlier coverage from Oklahoma begins at the preceding post.