Lockett and Charles F. Warner were both supposed to be executed Tuesday night, Lockett at 6 p.m. and Warner at 8 p.m. After the botched execution, Warner’s execution has been stayed for two weeks. Lockett was convicted of shooting a teenager and watching as she was buried alive; Warner was convicted of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s 11-month-old baby.
The attorney for Warner had criticized the use of an experimental new drug protocol in the execution earlier on Tuesday.
“Because the issue of secrecy in lethal injection has not been substantively addressed by the courts, Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner will be executed without basic information about the experimental combination of drugs used in their deaths,” Madeline Cohen said in a statement. “Despite repeated requests by counsel, the state has refused, again, and again, to provide information about the source, purity, testing and efficacy of the drugs to be used.”
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said in a statement Tuesday night that she was issuing a two-week stay of execution for Warner.
“I have asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening’s execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett,” she said.
Lockett’s death, meant to be the 20th execution of the year in the U.S., was the second botched execution so far in 2014. In January, Dennis McGuire’s execution in Ohio lasted for nearly 25 minutes; he choked, gasped and struggled before dying. McGuire’s execution, like that of Lockett, used the drug midazolam (which has also been used in five other executions this year).
“In 2014, we have a far riskier, more haphazard lethal injection procedure than we ever have had throughout the country,” Deborah W. Denno, a death penalty expert and a professor at Fordham Law School, told The Post earlier this year.
Richard C. Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said shortly after the botched Ohio execution that similar executions could shock the public.
“If that were happening regularly, this whole thing might unravel,” Dieter said. “The public does not like that. It supports the death penalty, but it has to be massaged or covered…with some veil of humaneness.”
Bailey Elise McBride of the Associated Press tweeted a series of nightmarish details about the botched execution in Oklahoma shortly after it occurred:
This post has been updated.