Oklahoma governor calls for independent review, will delay scheduled execution

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) ordered an independent review of the state's execution procedures following Tuesday night's botched execution of death row inmate Clayton Lockett. (Reuters)

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) announced Wednesday that she has ordered an independent review of the state’s execution procedures in the wake of a botched execution that has drawn worldwide scrutiny.

She said she has asked for an independent review to look into the death of Clayton Lockett, who died from a heart attack after a botched execution attempt Tuesday night.  In addition, an independent pathologist will determine the precise cause of Lockett’s death, she said. The review will also look into whether the state’s Department of Corrections followed the proper execution protocol and figure out recommendations for ways to improve executions.

“I expect the review process to be deliberate, to be thorough and it will be the first step in evaluating our state’s execution protocols,” she said.

Fallin also said that the execution of Charles Warner, which had been scheduled to occur after Lockett’s on Tuesday night, will be delayed until the review is completed. She issued a two-week stay of execution for Warner on Tuesday, which pushes his execution back to May 13, but an additional stay will be issued if the review is still ongoing.

But Fallin made it clear she still believes Warner should be executed, saying that both Lockett and Warner had their time in court.

“I believe the legal process worked,” she said. “I believe the death penalty is an appropriate response and punishment to those who commit heinous crimes against their fellow men and women. However, I also believe the state needs to be certain of its protocols and procedures for executions and that they work.”

She took no questions after making her announcement during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

 

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and developing stories from around the country.

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