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Published:April 30th, 2014 12:53 EST
Does the Bungled Execution of Clayton Lockett Argue for Capital Punishment`s Elimination?

Does the Bungled Execution of Clayton Lockett Argue for Capital Punishment`s Elimination?

By John G. Kays

Clayton Lockett`s vein exploded during a botched *(fumbled, bumbled) lethal injection execution, yesterday at the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, in McAlester? Why would a vein break on a 38 year-old-man? Could it have something to do with the chemical makeup of Midazolam, which is the first drug administered, and is suppose to render the condemned prisoner unconscious (in this case it didn`t work)? 

Unbelievable! It takes approximately 43 minutes for Clayton Lockett to die; ultimately, it took a heart attack to completely kill him. This must come close to being the most mucked up execution ever in the U.S.!

Well, I did take a fairly close look at Dennis McGuire`s bungled execution in Ohio (January 2014), which similarly, used a cocktail of toxic drugs; McGuire`s death dragged on for 24 never-ending minutes, but that makes Lockett`s (death process) 19 minutes longer in duration. In both cases, this more resembles a State imposed, agonizing torture session, than a painless, anesthetic type of execution!

One might be tempted to discount this report, if it were not for the fact that many eyewitnesses to the fiasco (like Courtney Francisco) of an execution talked candidly to news reporters, expressing shocking astonishment at the horror they had just beheld. 

They even had to close the creepy curtain to the death chamber; another clear sign this debacle was real, is that the execution was suspended by Robert Patten, the ODC`s department director. Were they not convinced Clayton would even die?

One would assume a stronger argument (is made) for a nation-wide elimination of the death penalty is gaining momentum. I`ve always been opposed to Capital Punishment; mostly it`s a political argument for me. If we live in a Democracy, then it doesn`t seem right for the State to have the power of life and death over anyone. 

This is more appropriate in a Fascist or a Totalitarian State, where either a dictator or a cabal of power-hungry elitists, loyal to this lousy dictator, can condemn some poor victim to die, even if they are actually innocent. The problem is, in many cases, this person didn`t commit the crime which they are charged for. DNA technology on many cold cases has exposed this unsettling truth, time and time again!

Oklahoma is using a combination of three drugs to administer an execution: Midazolam, Vecuronium Bromide, and Potassium Chloride. How did they come to the conclusion this poisonous cocktail is the right combination? How do they know what dosage to use? Has this same combination and strength ever been used before in Oklahoma? 

How about another state? Exactly how does what was used in Oklahoma compare to say, Ohio and Dennis McGuire`s nearly equally, bungled execution? Why didn`t they learn a lesson from that institutional nightmare (legal murder)? Nod, mumble, and writhe, that`s unconscious?

As far as the legal wrangling goes, leading up to Clayton Lockett`s prolonged punishment, I`m leaning heavily on an article in NPR, After One Botched Execution. Oklahoma Stays A Second (at least Charles Warner will be temporarily spared). While the shuffling discourse of legal procedures is not my strength, I did take it to mean (in the 19th paragraph) that one higher court intimidated another into lifting the stay of execution on Clayton Locket.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin herself had imposed a stay, but for only one week, then it would be easier, two in one day. My clearest take away from these crucial high court quarrels, is that Madelin Cohen (Charles Warner`s counsel) argues persuasively and cogently that the State hasn`t researched or tested these drugs adequately.

I guess the expression the proof is in the pudding, would be appropriate at this juncture. I`m hoping, with these newest exposures of incompetence, the movement to end Capital Punishment will grow and the lurking Leviathan will finally die a horrible death, ETERNALLY!