Speed Reads

Capital Punishment

The botched execution of Clayton Lockett was worse than you thought

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Earlier this week, Oklahoma botched the execution of death row inmate Clayton Lockett, resulting in a gruesome 40-minute ordeal that has revived the debate over the morality of capital punishment. Now it turns out that his execution was even more problematic than initially thought, according to a new timeline of the events:

At the beginning, the only thing that was different was that the execution was late. At 6:23 p.m., 23 minutes after the execution had been scheduled to begin, the beige blinds lifted up and the witnesses in the next two rooms could see Lockett on the gurney. They didn't know — because they couldn't know — that the execution was delayed because a technician couldn't find a place to insert the IV, according to Robert Patton, director of the Department of Corrections. That technician looked at Lockett's arms, legs, feet, and neck before ultimately placing the IV in Lockett's groin area five minutes before the blinds were lifted, Patton wrote in a timeline sent to the governor. The area with the IV was covered by a sheet so that witnesses couldn't see his groin, blocking their view of the vein where the needle was inserted. [Washington Post]

Check out The Week's coverage of the incident here, here, and here.