The national debate over the death penalty has taken on a new urgency in the wake of a botched execution in Oklahoma, where an inmate took more than 45 minutes to die.
A dose of a drug cocktail was administered to Clayton Lockett April 29, but the director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections halted the execution about 20 minutes later, saying there was a vein failure that prevented the chemicals from reaching Lockett's heart. In the meantime, Lockett was writhing, convulsing and shaking uncontrollably according to eyewitnesses.
Lockett was sentenced to death for the shooting death of a 19-year-old girl. Prosecutors said Lockett also stood by as two accomplices buried the girl alive.
Here's how the Oklahoman described part of Lockett's botched execution:
Lockett grimaced and tensed his body several times over a three minute period before the execution was shielded from the press. After being declared unconscious ten minutes into the process, Lockett spoke at three separate moments. The first two were inaudible, however the third time he spoke, Lockett said the word "man."
The Atlantic reports that Oklahoma state officials used untested drugs from a secret source in the incident.