Today, The Atlantic published an incredible front-page article on the April 29, 2014 execution of Clayton D. Lockett in Oklahoma. Investigative reporter Jeffrey Stern has written a comprehensive, gripping narrative of the troubling events leading up to Lockett’s botched execution and meticulously details the undeniable torture that Lockett experienced during the execution itself.
Stern explains that the execution team had severe problems from the start of the execution:
Zellmer kept trying to get the needle into Lockett’s sub-clavian vein. He finally saw a little flashback, then lost the vein and couldn’t get the needle back in. After repeatedly sticking Lockett’s chest, he decided to try the femoral vein, in Lockett’s groin. The paramedic went to get a longer needle. As the warden, Anita Trammell, watched the doctor and the paramedic work on Lockett, she felt a sliver of pride for the inmate. He’d now been stuck with needles more than a dozen times. She knew he was in pain, but she thought he was taking it like a man.
Please read the full story at The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/06/the-execution-of-clayton-lockett/392069/.
The fundamental disregard for human life and behind the scenes disarray that took place during Clayton Lockett’s execution is not unique to Oklahoma. It occurs in death chambers across the country.
Anytime a state injects someone with questionable drugs (including controversial paralytics) they risk subjecting that person to excruciating pain and torture.
Anytime a state passes a secrecy law, they are asserting that that the government has the right to do as it will without oversight or accountability.
Anytime a state executes someone, they are asserting a belief that killing is a reasonable way to solve a problem.
The death penalty does not deter crime, does not address the root causes of crime, does not bring closure to victims’ families, and does not keep our communities safe. It risks killing innocent people and creates more victims. As a society, we can do better than the death penalty.
Below we are including a list of must-read articles that give additional background on the execution of Clayton Lockett and the horrors of the death penalty in general. Please share these articles with your friends and colleagues.
Together we can spread the word about these botched executions, create momentum to halt all executions and abolish the death penalty once and for all.
The Colorado Independent [March 18, 2014]: Records show Oklahoma officials wanted perks for helping Texas in search for scarce lethal injections
The Guardian [April 23, 2014]: Oklahoma Court Lifts Stay of Executions, Heading Off Confrontation with Governor
Mother Jones [April 29, 2014]: Does This Secret Drug Cocktail Work To Execute People? Oklahoma Will Find Out Tonight
LA Times [April 29, 2014]: Oklahoma halts double execution after one is botched
The Guardian [April 30, 2014]: Oklahoma Execution: Clayton Lockett Writhes on Gurney in Botched Procedure
The New Yorker [April 30, 2014]: Witnesses to a Botched Execution
The Wire [May 1, 2014]: Oklahoma Releases a Timeline of Clayton Lockett's Botched Execution
The Atlantic [June 23, 2014]: Racism and the Execution Chamber
BuzzFeed [June 25, 2014]: 21 Oklahoma Death Row Inmates File Lawsuit Against “Unsafe And Unsound” Executions
Mother Jones [September 5, 2014]: Grisly New Details Emerge in Probe of Botched Oklahoma Execution
BuzzFeed [October 14, 2014]: Family Of Man Killed In Botched Oklahoma Execution Sues Doctor And State Officials
Tulsa World [December 14, 2014]: Execution of Clayton Lockett described as 'a bloody mess,' court filing shows
The Atlantic [Jan 16, 2015]: The Known Unknowns of Lethal Injection
The NCADP has created the 90 Million Strong Campaign to unite the voices of those who believe the death penalty is wrong. We need to demonstrate that the broad public support to end this practice is already here in America, and 90 million people speaking up can make a difference.
The 90 million people who oppose the death penalty are organized, energized, and ready to end capital punishment. Join us today.