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.Patton explained the problem as a "vein failure in which the chemicals did not make it into the offender."
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 had been sedated about 7 minutes into the procedure.
What happened tonight was an exemplification of cruel and unusual punishment.