"Lethal lessons: State's execution procedures fall short, World review finds," is by Ziva Branstetter and Cary Aspinwall.
The state’s failure to require executioners to monitor inmates during the process or require them to receive any training is among serious flaws in Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol, a Tulsa World investigation has found. When compared to policies in other active death penalty states, Oklahoma’s protocol falls short in key areas that could lead to more botched executions.
The World reviewed execution protocols or policies in Oklahoma and 19 other states that have carried out the death penalty since 2008 and compared each state’s requirements based on 10 factors that can affect the outcome of executions. While the death penalty is legal in 32 states and the federal government, 20 states have carried out an execution since 2008, records show.
The state’s vague requirements for training, qualifications of participating medical staff and procedures to check an inmate’s consciousness may have all played a role in the April 29 botched execution of Clayton Lockett. Preliminary results from an autopsy sought by defense attorneys indicate Lockett’s IV was not properly placed and cast doubt on the state’s claims that his vein “collapsed.”
The World also posts, "Paths of Neiman, Lockett crossed on fateful night," by Aspinwall and Branstetter.
State officials initially claimed he died of a massive heart attack, and that the problems with his execution were due to a “collapsed vein.” They ordered an investigation and an autopsy to be performed out of state, with Gov. Mary Fallin later declaring that Lockett’s 43-minute death simply “took too long.”
An independent autopsy requested by attorneys for other death row inmates revealed what many experts had suspected: There was no collapsed vein. The body revealed numerous failed attempts to start an IV. The IV likely never delivered the drugs properly.
Branstetter also writes,"Man gets no answers while watching father's killer die."
Earlier coverage of Oklahoma's botched execution begins at the link.