The Sunday edition of the Oklahoman published the editorial, "Report makes clear, Oklahoma must improve its execution policies, procedures."
THE Department of Public Safety’s investigation into the execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett leaves no doubt that Oklahoma must improve its policies and procedures for carrying out capital punishment. It can’t have another experience like this one.
The DOC needs to heed the findings and recommendations in the report. If a state is going to exact the ultimate punishment, it must do so knowing that every precaution has been taken. This clearly didn’t happen on April 29.
Today's Tulsa World reports, "Unanswered questions remain following execution investigation," by Ziva Branstetter and Cary Aspinwall.
After a four-month state investigation into Clayton Lockett’s execution, basic questions remain about what went wrong in Oklahoma and how future death sentences will be carried out.
Chief among those is whether the state will be ready to resume executions Nov. 13, when convicted killer Charles Warner is set to be put to death. Warner had eaten his last meal and was one hour away from the death chamber when his execution was stayed on April 29. Lockett died 43 minutes after his execution began that night, as Gov. Mary Fallin was about to issue a stay due to numerous failed IV attempts.
Whether the state will continue using midazolam in executions is also an open question. The drug has been problematic in executions in at least three states, including a nearly two-hour Arizona execution on July 23.
"Oklahoma corrections department director to discuss execution report, proposed guidelines," is the AP brief, via the Tribune.
A news conference has been scheduled for Monday by Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton. Patton plans to discuss a Department of Public Safety investigation into the April 29 execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed and moaned before he was pronounced dead 43 minutes after his execution began.
The Guardian posts, "We may never know who witnessed Clayton Lockett's execution," by Jessica Glenz.
Thirty-six people witnessed Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett, but we may never know the identities of all of them, nor what qualified them to be involved in the procedure.
The state public safety department on Thursday released its report on the execution, which found that failures in medical training and execution procedures contributed to the delay in Lockett’s death. The report offers a detailed account of the minutes surrounding the lethal injection, including a doctor and paramedics searching for a vein to use before eventually administering the lethal drugs near his groin.
The report was based on eyewitness testimony. It does not identify those witnesses.
"Governor takes the lead on executions," is by Tim Talley of Associated Press, via the Durant Democrat.
A close observer of Oklahoma politics says Gov. Mary Fallin reacted like a chief executive when ordering an investigation into what went wrong with the troubled execution of death row inmate Clayton Lockett, who writhed and moaned before being declared dead 43 minutes after his punishment began.
On Thursday, Fallin expanded her influence over Oklahoma’s execution process when insisting that state Department of Public Safety recommendations for improving it be implemented before any more lethal injections are conducted.
The Republican is taking a strong position just two months before the general election in which she is seeking a second four-year term. Keith Gaddie, chairman of the University of Oklahoma’s political science department, says it is an unusual position for a conservative governor who supports the death penalty to take.
"Oklahoma to halt execution until new protocols in place: governor," is by Heide Brandes of Reuters.
Oklahoma will put future executions on hold until new procedures are in place as recommended in a report about a troubled execution that exposed shortcomings in the death chamber, officials said on Friday.
A doctor and a paramedic failed nearly a dozen times to place an IV during an Oklahoma inmate's April execution and were unprepared for how to proceed once the line they secured to deliver a lethal injection began leaking drugs, the report released on Thursday said.
"I expect the Department of Corrections to implement the proposed improvements in protocols to ensure that future executions are performed effectively," Governor Mary Fallin said, adding that the department has started to draw up the measures.
Her office said executions will not resume until those protocols are in place.
"Grisly New Details Emerge in Probe of Clayton Lockett's Botched Execution," is by Stephanie Mencimer at Mother Jones.
The investigation, conducted largely by a bunch of investigators working for the state highway patrol, didn't produce much new information. The report mostly absolves the state of responsibility, even as it further documents the torture inflicted on Lockett before he died. It sheds no light on the effectiveness of the new, controversial, and experimental drugs used to kill Lockett—drugs that had been predicted to cause a torturous death.
But buried in the report are some of the rarely seen minutiae involved in the machinery of death, the small absurdities of a government-sanctioned killing—the pre-execution shower, the mental-health consultations, and suicide prevention efforts—all directed at someone about to die.
The Oklahoma DPS report,'The Execution of Clayton Lockett is available in Adobe .pdf format.
Earlier coverage of Oklahoma's botched execution begins at the link.