There are editorials in nine states crticizing Oklahoma's botched execution.
The Sacramento Bee editorial is, "Capital punishment remains broken beyond repair."
There is no humane or painless way to execute an individual, as Clayton Lockett’s botched execution Tuesday night in Oklahoma illustrates. Lockett writhed, gasped and apparently died of a heart attack roughly 40 minutes after the drugs that were supposed to kill him were administered.
Lockett’s crimes included burying his victim alive. He deserves no sympathy. But Oklahoma’s inability to carry out the execution, and its refusal to identify the drugs it used, reopens the national debate over capital punishment, rightly so.
The Bee’s editorial board, which long supported the death penalty, reversed its position in 2012, concluding that “the death penalty in California is a farce.”
In Colorado, the Longmont Times-Call publishes, "Oklahoma execution was unacceptable, even if death penalty was." It's also printed in the Loveland Reporter-Herald.
People in America have largely fallen into two camps when it comes to the death penalty: Those who oppose executions and those who do not.
But after an execution in Oklahoma went terribly wrong Tuesday night, a third opinion is possible. Even people who see execution as a necessary evil ought to agree that as a civilized society, America has an obligation to perform executions humanely.
"U.S. quest for humane executions is absurd," is the DesMoines Register editorial.
The United States once again stares in the face the impossible task of reconciling killing by the state with the desire to do it humanely.
"Abolish death penalty," in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Surely the ghastly details of Tuesday's botched execution attempt of an Oklahoma man sentenced to death will persuade Kentucky and other states that still execute people, as well as the federal government, to put an end to this primitive effort to mete out justice.
"Botched execution: America’s tarnished image," in the Boston Globe.
When they realized that something was going wrong, the panicking officials in Oklahoma closed the curtains that allow observers to view the execution. But the reality of death penalty in the United States has grown impossible to conceal from the world. The White House issued a careful condemnation of the bungled execution. But the federal government, and states that continue to impose capital punishment, need to confront the grave damage they are doing to America’s standing in the world by persisting in increasingly backward policies.
Today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch publishes, "Pull the plug on Missouri's killing machine."
This editorial page has long opposed the use of capital punishment in all cases as a dehumanizing practice that is beneath a civilized society. Most of the rest of the free world agrees. According to Amnesty International, the U.S. sends more prisoners to their deaths than any countries except for China, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Some company, eh, Mr. Nixon?
"Botched execution in Oklahoma shows flaws with capital punishment," in upstate New York's Watertown Daily Times.
The bizarre death Tuesday of a prisoner in Oklahoma has once again put the value and effectiveness of capital punishment in the spotlight.
In Oklahoma, the Muskogee Phoenix publishes, "State must be better than killers."
Oklahoma must suspend executions until the state can carry out the death sentence with even a small degree of humanity — something that failed to happen Tuesday.
"Time to kill the death penalty," in the Brattleboro Reformer of Vermont.
The Reformer believes that if there is even only an infinitesimal chance an innocent person could be executed, then the death penalty is morally wrong. And if, as we profess to be, we are a true Christian nature, forgiveness seems to preclude ending a life, even for the most repugnant of crimes. Instead of the death penalty, we should institute a system of life without parole, which meets our needs of punishment and protection without running the risk of an erroneous and irrevocable punishment.
"Stop torturing people to death and killing the innocent," is the Baptist Standard editorial, signed by editor Marv Knox.
Fairness and human decency demand moral people oppose capital punishment.
Two developments in the past week push the case for ending the death penalty beyond reasonable doubt.
Earlier coverage of Oklahoma's botched execution begins with the preceding post.