Speed Reads

Clayton Locket

Rick Perry defends the death penalty

Rick Perry defends the death penalty

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Sunday said his state would continue to execute criminals despite the horrific results of Oklahoma's failed execution last week.

Perry, whose state has executed more people than any other in the past four decades, said he was "confident that the way the executions are taken care of in the state of Texas are appropriate and humane." And though he said Oklahoma had clearly screwed up its execution, he would not say whether the procedure was so horrific as to have been torture.

"I don't know whether it was inhumane or not, but it was botched," he said in an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press.

Oklahoma's Supreme Court stayed the execution of Clayton Lockett because of questions about the untested drug cocktail that would ultimately be used to kill him, though Gov. Mary Fallin (R) ignored the decision and proceeded anyway. Lockett writhed in apparent pain and said "oh, man" before dying of a heart attack 43 minutes after receiving the injection. --Jon Terbush