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In an execution display so shocking that Department of Corrections officials closed the curtain on the wittnesses sixteen minutes after the procedure began and twenty seven minutes before inmate Clayton Lockhart was finally pronounced dead of a massive heart attack, Oklahoma has been forced to issue a 14-day stay on the second execution scheduled for tonight.

According to Tulsa World Enterprise Editor Ziva Branstetter:

Lockett was given execution drugs and reacted violently, kicking and grimacing while lifting his head off the gurney to which he was strapped. He was pronounced dead at 7:06 p.m. -- 43 minutes after the process began -- Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton said.

In a media conference, Patton said Lockett's veins "exploded" during the execution, which began at 6:23 p.m. Patton said the inmate died from a massive heart attack.

Patton explained the problem as a "vein failure in which the chemicals did not make it into the offender."

Patton had been sedated about 7 minutes into the procedure.

What happened tonight was an exemplification of cruel and unusual punishment.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

    by RJDixon74135 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:10:59 PM PDT

  •  Suggested by one of the Tulsa World Readers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rb608, indubitably, high uintas, Hey338Too
    Possibly a higher power - God, didn't want this man to go quietly or without pain due to the heinous of his crimes. Possibly that higher power - God, wanted this man to suffer as he made innocents suffer, and wanted Lockett's eternal punishment to begin tonight and before he left this life. It has been known to happen.

    "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

    by RJDixon74135 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:23:55 PM PDT

  •  There is no method of execution (4+ / 0-)

    that is not cruel and unusual punishment.  I'd like to think that Lockhart's suffering might make that clear; but it's Oklahoma we're talking about, right?  Thank FSM I live in a sane state (MD).

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:29:59 PM PDT

    •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

      Um, no, actually.

      The DP cannot be held to be cruel and unusual punishment since the establishing document explicitly permits it elsewhere.

      The FF wore not complete idiots.

      The best way to tell a Democrat from a Republican is to present someone requiring food and shelter. The Democrat will want them housed and fed, even if they be faking need. The Republican will gladly see them starve until all doubt is removed.

      by GayIthacan on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:48:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Neither were the founding fathers always right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miss Blue

        Ask a few women and/or black men and women what they think about the founding fathers denying us the right to vote.

        "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

        by RJDixon74135 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:30:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and Maryland no longer has the death penalty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608

      thanks to Governor O'Malley's persistence in pushing this issue with the legislature here.

    •  If you accept the death penalty (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rb608, RJDixon74135, worldlotus

      (which I do not as somebody who has had one friend illegally killed in a stupid "break a bottle over their head" attack, the murder conviction was reduced to manslaughter on appeal and another murdered by a serial killer) there are more "humane" methods. The good old fashioned "long drop" hanging should be instantaneous if used properly - there are very precise calculations needed involving the weight of the prisoner and the length of the rope. Too short and the neck does not snap causing unconsiousness. Too long and you can rip the head off as almost happened with Saddam Hussein.

      The capital punishment lobby considered this too unscientific and opted for Edison's publicity stunt showing the dangers of AC power (as opposed to his DC supply). When the staff and public were disgusted at the cooking of the prisoner's head that often resulted, the next fad was the gas chamber. That of course got some rather unfortunate publicity in the 1940s. That kills by suffocation but is not instantaneous as many held their breath in an attempt to live. The cyanide replaces the oxygen in the blood so it becomes impossible to breathe heavily or fast enough to live.

      A humane variation would be to use nitrogen gas however this induces nitrogen narcosis before death which can be euphoric - pigs given the change to breathe it in will do so again and again until they become unconsious each time. That of course would not give the degee of barbarism that is demanded.

      "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

      by Lib Dem FoP on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:00:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wasn't there a similar scenario earlier this year? (4+ / 0-)

    Maybe Missouri?  I remember there was some discussion about the types of drugs used and where they were purchased and followed by a state sanctioned death that took an extraordinarily long time.  Deja vu.

    We are all in this together.

    by htowngenie on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:35:02 PM PDT

  •  Something similar happened in OH (4+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:39:37 PM PDT

  •  Dammit. (5+ / 0-)

    My initial reaction: Why don't they just give them morphine until they stop breathing like in oncology hospice with dying cancer patients?
    To be blunt, that's how, um, many of us help our loved ones go when they are near the end. (to "treat pain", with death as a side effect)

    Probably that is too peaceful and blissful death for some pro death penalty enforcers.

    I've always wondered. Probably some doctor knows. Not that I wish them to "end". I wish them not to suffer like this. I've heard many are terrified it will be botched and traumatized thinking not of dying but of how it will go. How horrible now for those on death row especially in OK knowing how this went! That in itself is cruel and unusual.

    •  There's been a lengthy controversy about the drugs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, worldlotus

      used. The NY Times is reporting

      In keeping with the untried drug protocol announced by the Corrections Department this month, Mr. Lockett was first injected with midazolam, a benzodiazepine intended to render the prisoner unconscious and unable to feel pain. This was followed by injections of vecuronium bromide, a paralyzing agent that stops breathing, and then potassium chloride, which stops the heart.

      This combination has been used in Florida, but with a much higher dose of midazolam than Oklahoma is planning to use. Without effective sedation, the second two drugs are known to cause agonizing suffocation and pain.

      Oklahoma and other states have turned to compounding pharmacies — lightly regulated laboratories that mix up drugs to order. Opponents have raised questions about quality control, especially after the widely reported dying gasps of a convict in Ohio for more than 10 minutes, and an Oklahoma inmate’s utterance, “I feel my whole body burning,” after being injected with compounded drugs.

      "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

      by RJDixon74135 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:51:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, what they planned is essentially what we (5+ / 0-)

      routinely do when inducing anesthesia, particularly when we are doing intubations in the emergency department. In theory, it should result in a quick and painless death.
          The difference between the execution and what I do in the ED is, of course, the potassium, which is intended to do the actual killing. That's the step that the Ohio protocol skipped, resulting in the long, prolonged death. The Ohio protocol would be expected to result in the individual being deeply sedated and unable to breath, resulting in a death taking many minutes; even as much as an hour. The problem with the new protocols, like the Oklahoma protocol, is that the appropriate dose of midazolam is not well-understood. The older protocol with pentobarbital was well-established.
          What I would guess is that the dose of midazolam was inadequate to produce deep sedation in this person, and that they did indeed lose the vein during the infusion of the potassium. Potassium is intensely irritating to veins, and administering large doses of potassium quickly is very painful unless the individual is deeply sedated. It would not be unusual to have the vein sclerose during the infusion. The potassium is supposed to cause an immediate lethal heart arrhythmia (a "heart attack.") If the potassium was only partly infused, it might eventually still cause the arrhythmia, but not as quickly as planned. That resulted in Lockett either returning to consciousness, or appearing to return to consciousness, before his heart stopped.  

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:23:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for the details, ER doc (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Mr Robert, Hey338Too, worldlotus

        Several reporters are saying that he actually died some time after the execution was halted.

        Governor Mary Fallin, a fubar Republican who in the past  has managed to draw criticism from all sides, is crediting herself for postponing the second execution scheduled for tonight. She's also promising (and many Oklahomans are demanding) a complete investigation within the next 14 days.

        More to come.

        "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

        by RJDixon74135 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:44:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Neither a registered doctor nor a nurse can (0+ / 0-)

        administer the drugs due to the Hippocratic oath. It is usually a 'technician' who inserts the needle. A doctor is called in afterwards to pronounce the death.

      •  thank you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        what you say even makes sense to me with half of an NP degree (no RN)-it's a wonder why they chose to do it this way and why they didn't or couldn't ascertain deep sedation first. Ugh.

  •  arguably, hanging is a cleaner (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135, high uintas, ER Doc

    execution than drugs.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:46:27 PM PDT

  •  I just saw this on Rachel's show (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135, worldlotus

    and hoped that there was a diary. I get all shaky over not botched executions, I'm now officially horrified. Good gawd..

    Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

    by high uintas on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:52:30 PM PDT

  •  The death penalty is barbaric. If my recollection (4+ / 0-)

    is correct, the U.S. is one of the only western countries that allows the death penalty.  

  •  Governor Fallin.....What Were You Thinking? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135, Hey338Too

    The Governor overrode the court & scheduled these two executions 2 hrs apart.  This was despite grave concern over the controversial drug cocktails to be used which had been challenged repeatedly in court.  

    Her daughter, Christina,  insulted American Indians last week by performing a fake war dance on stage w/ her band the Pink Pony.  Her boyfriend flipped the American Indians off from stage.

    The Native Americans were @ her program in protest of an Instagram photo the daughter posted of herself wearing an Indian headdress last March.

    Governor Fallin refused to set up a healthcare exchange in her state & refused Medicaid expansion despite the fact that thousands are uninsured in Ok....la....ho....ma!

    The apple didn't fall far from the tree in Oklahoma, eh Guv?  

  •  How to kill a human being - documentary (0+ / 0-)

    Robert Blecker responds to 'humane' method of execution at 46:00 "I think it's terrible". Death without pain is "not justice".

    Truth be told, execution is not about justice. It's about revenge and retribution.

    As the American Supreme Court examines whether the lethal injection is causing prisoners to die in unnecessary pain Michael sets out to find a solution which is fundamentally humane. To do so he examines the key methods of execution available today: he discovers why convicts can catch on fire in the electric chair, learns how easy it is to botch a hanging and inhales a noxious gas to experience first hand the terror of the gas chamber.

    Armed with some startling evidence Michael considers a completely new approach. Will it be the answer? There is only one way of finding out - to experience it himself.

  •  What is cruel and unusual (0+ / 0-)

    punishment is for a nation to have a Gov. and legislature as ridiculous and shameless as the voters of Oklahoma have let loose on that State.

    There seems to be no end to their insanity .This is a convincing example why unchecked states rights are so dangerous to our democracy.

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