Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Clayton Lockett: The Case for Execution

Clayton Lockett: The Case for Execution
Dudley Sharp

Make the effort to think of your daughters, granddaughters and sisters, or any loved ones, as these victims and their family members were forced to do (1).

During a home invasion and kidnapping:

A, completely, innocent Stephanie Neiman, 19, was shot twice with a shotgun. The criminals made Stephanie watch as they dug her grave. Stephanie was placed, alive, in that grave, moaning and crying, and buried, alive (2).

Summer Hair was anally and vaginally raped, twice, on separate occasions and different locations and forced to perform oral sex. She lived (2).

Lockett gave a full confession, with no remorse (2). See partial video (2) and get the full recording.

Lockett was an ongoing, continuing threat while on death row (1,2), just as he was before these crimes.

In the full context of Lockett's crimes and his execution, there is no reason for anyone to use them as a reason to abandoned the death penalty and every reason to reflect on why some crimes deserve the death penalty.

Remember Stephanie and Summer.

Predictably, death penalty opponents are using Lockett as their newest poster rapist/torturer/murderer to fight the death penalty.

In 2014, anti death penalty legislators in the New Hampshire House of Representatives even used Lockett as the foundation for a re-vote on death penalty repeal.

Fortunately, with that re-vote, the House had 7 fewer votes for repeal and 13 more votes for retention.  Thank you. The Senate refused to reconsider and the death penalty remains.

Lockett's crimes call for more death penalty support.


Death penalty opponents and many in the media  are using Lockett's "botched" execution, in Oklahoma, to call for an end to execution.

Nationally, less than 1% of lethal injections are botched (3).

Could Lockett have exhibited noises and movements while unconscious? Of course. Anti death penalty folks and many reporters seem, completely, unaware that such are not only common responses to a drug overdose (3), but are also exhibited by people, while sleeping.

"Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences at Dallas, which performed (Lockett's) autopsy, concluded that the cause of death was "judicial execution by lethal injection." But the report does not answer why the execution took so long and why Lockett writhed on the gurney." He " . . . succumbed to the lethal drugs he was administered, not a heart attack . . ."  (4, 5)

"Four (witnesses) reported that Lockett did not move, one reported he moved slightly and the last recalled a more aggressive movement (6)." Some media witnesses reported aggressive movements and sounds. search "media witnesses" Clayton Lockett.

There is a huge disparity within the actual observations, but near universal, fictional reporting of Lockett's agony.

For example:

A GOOGLE search, under "all" (11/13/19 9 am cst), for 

"Clayton Lockett" "Four reported that Lockett did not move, one reported he moved slightly . . . " 

Had 4 hits, only 1 a media source  - o n e

A Google search under  "all" (11/13/19 9:05 am cst) for

"Clayton Lockett"  pain

Had 22,600 hits, many media

The lethal injection drugs were in the blood, throughout the body, inclusive of the brain, p 8-11, (5).

"Toxicology reports said all three lethal drugs were found in Lockett's system — the sedative in brain tissue and elsewhere and the other drugs in his blood." (4, 5) All the drugs were in his bloodstream and brain, making it unlikely Lockett suffered.

In the timeline of the execution, between 6;42-7:06, during the execution, Lockett's pulse rate was 6 beats per minute, indicating very deep sedation (6).  That is from 19-43 minutes.  It would be helpful to have a more specific timeline on the pulse rate.

We do know, for a fact, of the horrible suffering of Stephanie and Summer and those who cared for them.

With executions, the proper protocol is to have a second IV line, ready to go. Had that been done in Lockett's case, there would have been a brief delay, then the second IV would have been used and no one would have even noticed. The IV line should always be visible, but was not in this case.  The preparation, planning and training for the execution were horrendous (6).

This was, certainly, a botched execution, by procedure (6). All agree.

None of which equal Lockett suffering.

We know what happened with blind speculation in McGuire's execution (3,7) in Ohio, as well as with many others, inclusive of Lockett (3).

Standard, I am sorry to say.

Nitrogen Gas; Flawless, peaceful, unrestricted method of execution 

Victims' Voices

1) "Friends of victim have zero sympathy for Clayton Lockett", New York Daily News, May 2, 2014, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/friends-victim-zero-sympathy-clayton-lockett-inmate-botched-okla-execution-article-1.1777463

2) Letter from Lockett: “Cause I’m an assassin — point blank!”, KFOR, MAY 1, 2014, BY COURTNEY FRANCISCO

4)  "Drugs, Not Heart Attack, Killed Clayton Lockett In Oklahoma Execution: Autopsy", Tim Talley, AP, 08/28/2014

5) Independent autopsy ordered by Oklahoma:
Office of the Medical Examiner, Autopsy Report
Case: IFS-14-07742 - CC    Decedent: Lockett, Clayton
6:23  p.m.    The full dose of midazolam and an appropriate saline flush were 
administered. A DOC employee began to keep time on a stopwatch.   
6:30 p.m. The signal was given that five minutes had elapsed and the 
physician determined Lockett was conscious. DOC personnel began 
to keep additional time on a stopwatch.
6:33 p.m. The signal was given that two minutes had elapsed and the physician determined Lockett was unconscious.  The full dose of vecuronium bromide, an appropriate saline flush and a majority of the potassium chloride were administered.
6:33-6:42 p.m. Lockett began to move and make sounds on the execution table. It should be noted that the interview statements of the witnesses regarding Lockett’s movements and sounds were inconsistent. The physician inspected the IV insertion site and determined there was an issue, which was relayed to Warden Trammell.
6:42 p.m. At the direction of Warden Trammell, the blinds were lowered. The executioner stopped administering the potassium chloride.
6:42-7:06 p.m. It should be noted that the interview statements of the individuals in the execution chamber were inconsistent. However, it was determined the following events did occur inside the execution chamber during this time period.  The paramedic re-entered the execution chamber to assist the physician.  The physician attempted IV access into Lockett’s left, femoral vein. However, no access was completed. When questioned by Warden Trammell, the physician initially believed that Lockett may not have received enough of the execution drugs to induce death. He also believed there were not enough execution drugs left to continue the execution. The physician and paramedic continued to monitor Lockett’s heart rate utilizing an EKG machine.
While attempting to gain the IV access, it was observed that Lockett’s heart rate continued to decrease. The physician made the observation that the drugs appeared to be absorbing into Lockett’s tissue. The physician and paramedic concluded that Lockett’s heart rate had entered a state of bradycardia and eventually slowed to an observed six beats per minute (Sharp: Meaning deep sedation)

Four (witnesses) reported that Lockett did not move, one reported he moved slightly and the last recalled a more aggressive movement.

(Sharp: Some media witnesses reported aggressive movements and sounds. search "media witnesses" Clayton Lockett)

6:56 p.m. Director Patton halted/stopped the execution, which was relayed to the execution chamber.
6:57-7:06 p.m. Witnesses were escorted out of the viewing room.
7:06 p.m. The physician pronounced Lockett deceased.

7)The (Imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution