The governor of the US state of Oklahoma has ordered a “full review” of the state’s execution procedures following a botched execution in which a man suffered a different death then the one planned for him.
Clayton Lockett’s execution was stopped after 20 minutes on Tuesday evening after it become obvious that he was dying in an unexpected fashion.
Officials quickly became aware that rather than having to suffer in silence the pain of being starved of oxygen, paralysed and induced to cardiac arrest by personnel with no medical experience, Lockett was actually concious and vocal about the pain he was suffering.
One onlooker told News Wut: “I felt extremely uncomfortable being faced with the grim reality of humanity’s thirst for vengeance, I was hoping that it would at least appear humane so that I could leave the execution with my conscience clear.”
Officials say one of his veins ruptured, preventing the drugs from taking full effect. He died of a heart attack, the same cause of death for the correct and humane administration of the lethal injection, less than an hour later.
Lockett’s ordeal on Tuesday night led the governor of Oklahoma to postpone the execution of another inmate who was scheduled to die hours later. Reports suggest that officials are considering a different method of execution, with one Oklahoma news organisation claiming that the governor’s preference is currently beating the inmate to death with a stick.
The execution began at 18:23 local time (00:23 GMT), when officials administered a sedative. Lockett was declared unconscious 10 minutes later, allowing officials to begin injecting the two drugs that would kill him. But three minutes later, he began breathing heavily and writhing in pain.
Dr Makemnap, a leading consultant in anaesthesiology, told News Wut: “The first injection given during execution slows the breathing, causing the inmate to become unconscious which is the foundation on which the following two injections are said to be humane. Needless to say, judging the correct amount of the drug to administer depending on the many and varied factors surrounding it is actually quite an easy task, and anyone without medical experience could probably have a crack at it and get it right quite often; say, 25% of the time”