Speed Reads


Following botched Oklahoma execution, Obama calls for death penalty inquiry

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Calling Tuesday's botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate "deeply troubling," President Barack Obama said he will ask the attorney general to review the death penalty's application.

Obama's comments on Friday were his first made publicly concerning Tuesday's execution, in which Clay Lockett, a convicted murderer, writhed for 43 minutes before dying from a heart attack. The state of Oklahoma was using a new drug combination, and the state refused to disclose the source of the new drugs prior to Lockett's execution.

Americans need to "ask ourselves some difficult and profound questions around these issues," Obama said in a press conference covered by The Associated Press. "And this situation in Oklahoma I think just highlights some of the significant problems there."

Lawmakers who support the death penalty, though, appeared fairly unconcerned about Obama's remarks — and an inmate's last moments.

"I realize this may sound harsh," Mike Christian (R-Okla.) told the AP. "But as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine, or being fed to the lions."