Botched execution like a horror movie

2015-03-16 22:37


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The botched execution of a murderer in Oklahoma last year resembled a scene from "a horror movie" according witness interviews published Monday which laid bare the scale of the fiasco surrounding the procedure.

The execution of Clayton Lockett made world headlines after the killer took 43 minutes - instead of the usual 10 - to die from a lethal injection using an untested cocktail of drugs which had not been previously used in the United States.

Around 5 000 of pages of transcripts, based on around 100 interviews with witnesses carried out by the Department of Public Safety, were released after The Tulsa World filed a lawsuit against state authorities.

The testimony paints a gruesome portrait of Lockett's death on 29 April last year, with medical officials making multiple failed attempts to find a vein in the prisoner's body to carry out the procedure as they raced to complete it before a second execution scheduled on the same day.

Lockett's prolonged death occurred after the decision to pump the drugs into his body via femoral artery backfired and the product, midazolam, began leaking into his body tissue rather than into his veins.

According to witness statements published by The Tulsa World, the execution chamber was a "bloody mess."

One witness said the scene "was like a horror movie" as Lockett bucked and writhed up from the gurney when he was supposed to be unconscious.

The US Court of Appeal described Lockett's execution as a "procedural disaster" and a case involving other Oklahoma death row inmates is to be heard in the US Supreme Court in April.

The paramedic carrying out the procedure told investigators she did not have experience of femoral IVs. The doctor also seemed inexperienced.

No experience

When the paramedic informed the doctor that the needles being used appeared to be too short for a femoral IV, the doctor replied: "Well, we'll just have to make it work."

When the injection went awry and Lockett, still conscious, began writhing on the gurney, the paramedic went to assist the doctor.

The doctor had earlier been upset after being subjected to a security pat down as he entered the prison, according to Warden Anita Trammell, telling her: "I'm just filling in anyway. I was just - I don't even know why I'm even, why I even, you know, agreed to do it."

According to other documents released by The Tulsa World, the midazolam doses used in the execution, or the execution scheduled later that day, were also not labelled with the prisoners' names as required.

Read more on:    us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.