Death Penalty

Oklahoma's Horrific Botched Execution Could Have Been Prevented


Credit: Ken Piorkowski/wikimedia

Last night, a horrific scene played out at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary as prison officials attempted to carry out the first of what was supposed to have been a double execution. 

At 6:23 p.m., the execution began for Clayton Lockett, convicted in 1999 of killing 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman.

Five minutes after a cocktail of lethal drugs was injected, Lockett began shivering, breathing deep, blinking, and gritting his teeth. Seven minutes into the execution, Lockett alerted prison officials that he was still conscious. Ten minutes into the execution, prison officials announced that he was finally unconscious. Thirteen minutes in, Lockett moved his head from side to side and then lifted it off of the bed. Fifteen minutes in, Lockett was mumbling, breathing heavily, and appeared to be struggling. Sixteen minutes in, Lockett said "man" out loud, and tried to get up. Following this, a female prison official told horrified eyewitnesses, "We are going to lower the blinds temporarily." The blinds were never lifted.

Minutes after the blinds went down, the director of prisons told eyewitnesses there had been a "vein failure" and that he was using his authority to issue a stay of execution. Less than a half hour later, after the director of prisons admitted the execution had been botched, Lockett was pronounced dead from what officials said was a heart attack.

Shortly after Lockett's grisly death, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued an executive order granting a 14-day stay for stay of execution for Charles Warner, the inmate who was scheduled to be executed two hours after Lockett. Warner's execution is now scheduled for May 13.

In her press release, Governor Fallin said that she had asked the Oklahoma Department of Corrections "to conduct a full review of Oklahoma's execution procedures to determine what happened and why" during Lockett's botched execution.

Executions in other states have been botched before, but what makes what happened in Oklahoma last night so particularly grotesque is that it could have, and should have, been prevented.

Over the past several months, questions had been raised over the constitutionality of the state's lethal injection secrecy law, which allowed state officials to prevent the disclosure of any information about the drugs used in lethal injections. Lawyers for condemned inmates argued that without being able to know even the most basic information about these drugs, it would be impossible to verify whether or not the executions carried out would comport with the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.

On April 21, the Oklahoma Supreme Court stayed the executions of Lockett and Warner, which were scheduled to take place on April 22 and April 29, so that the justices could evaluate the legality of Oklahoma's secrecy law.

In an unprecedented move, Gov. Mary Fallin proclaimed on April 22 that Oklahoma's executive branch would not honor the state Supreme Court's stays of execution, and issued an executive order that granted a seven-day stay of execution for Clayton Lockett. 

Even more shocking, a Republican state representative, Mike Christian, introduced impeachment proceedings on April 23 against the five state Oklahoma Supreme Court justices who had voted for the stays of execution, stating that the justices had used "unsupportable arguments regarding constitutional rights."

On April 24, the Oklahoma Supreme Court caved to political pressure, and declared that the state's injection secrecy law was constitutional, allowing the botched execution to proceed on April 29 as Governor Fallin ordered.

Besides the questions over the constitutionality of the state's secrecy law, concerns had also been raised over the state's essentially experimental three-drug execution cocktail, which included the drugs midazolam, vecuronium bromide, and potassium chloride.

This drug combination has only been used once before—in Florida. However, Florida's protocol called for five times more midazolam than Oklahoma's, which led some to predict the execution might not be effective. Because these drugs were obtained through secret means and information about them was protected under the state's secrecy law, there was no oversight from experts on the quality of the drugs.

Medical experts warned Oklahoma officials of the possibility of a botched execution, and defense attorneys asked them to open up the lethal injection process to review by the courts, doctors, and the public because of the dangers of this untested drug combination. It really should come as no surprise that this execution played out as it did.

If the state wasn't obsessed with killing these inmates so quickly and recklessly, and instead allowed the process to be transparent and open for review, Clayton Lockett's botched execution could have been prevented.

Instead, the state elevated an unsympathetic killer to a symbol of what the death penalty has become in states that are adopting secretive and experimental execution methods: a reckless abandonment of the rule of law.

UPDATE (2:07 p.m. ET): At roughly 1:00 p.m. ET, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that Lockett's botched execution fell short of the humane standards required when capital punishment is carried out. Carney also relayed that Obama believes evidence shows the death penalty doesn't effectively deter crime, but the crimes in Lockett's case were indisputably heinous and merited the death penalty. As CBS reporter Andrew Cohen notes on his twitter feed, the Justice Department has remained mostly silent as challenges to injection secrecy have failed in federal courts across the country in recent months.

UPDATE (3:21 p.m. ET): In a statement given before the press, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said there will be an independent review of the state's execution protocols following last night's botched execution. Fallin said the review will be led by Oklahoma Department of Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson. 

According to journalists present, Fallin walked off the stage after her statement and did not take questions from the press.

Questions still remain over how this review will address the lack of transparency over the execution drugs as well as whether or not Warner's execution will be delayed beyond the current 14-day stay.

NEXT: Chicago Man Claims Cops Planted a CELLPHONE on Him to Justify Shooting Him in the Back

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  1. “killing these inmates so quickly and recklessly”

    Uh, let’s see, it was 1999 that he shot the victim and watched as his buddies buried her alive. With breakneck speed, the state took 15 years to execute him.

    Why not give condemned prisoners a choice of methods – “we have a wide variety of executions available available. Many people recommend the old-fashioned hanging. Others prefer the firing squad – short and swift, though it inhibits organ donation. You could choose lethal injection, but you’ll have to sign a form acknowledging that there could be side-effects. And direct from France, we have a guillotine. You would prefer not to make a choice? Very well, we will provide the hanging.”

    1. So if he later claims that the method of execution is cruel and unusual, the courts can dismiss his claim because he *already* had the chance to ask for another form of punishment.

      1. Assuming we are going to have executions, I like that idea.

    2. Newfangled hanging is better. Old fashioned hanging strangled you to death. Newfangled hanging (ideally) breaks your neck.

      1. The only danger with newfangled hanging is that you drop the guy too much and his head pops off. Which isn’t so dangerous, really.

        1. See my comment below. That is an advantage as far as I am concerned.

        2. Funny, we were talking about just that this morning. I thought it wasn’t a big deal, but BF thought the head popping off would be a deal-breaker for the public.

          1. Deal-breaker or crowd-pleaser?

          2. I can’t find a link to the anecdote now, but there was a cowboy in the old days who killed a guy and got sentenced to death. Well, he enjoyed the jail food in the time between his arrest and execution, and ate himself up to something like 230 pounds. The executioner didn’t account for that when he was measuring out his drop, and you can guess the result. POP.

            1. Ah, here it is. Complete with pictures.

              1. Yay, pictures, great! I’m eating dinner here (Barcelona has late dinners).

                1. Nice. How’s the trip so far?

        3. I truly don’t understand what is so hard about killing a person.

          Put him under via anesthetic. Guillotine. Done.

          1. Put him under via anesthetic. Guillotine. Done.

            oops put him under with anesthesia

          2. Better yet, put the condemned in a chamber and flood it with carbon monoxide. More costly but but just as effective would be a vacuum chamber.

            1. Stun gun, plastic bag, roll of tape, pack of hungry pigs.

          3. Why put him under first? Guillotine is fast enough by itself.

        4. We mastered the physics of this hundreds of years ago.

        5. 1380 divided by the weight of your problem yields the length of your solution. Works for prisoners. Works for politicians.

      2. Seems like a well designed and maintained guillotine would be a pretty fast and effective way to do it.

        I really think it needs to be bloody so people can see it for what it is and not pretend it is some sort of medical procedure or something.

        1. You’re right, and in fact Guillotin designed his machine as a humane method of execution. It was a great improvement over tearing the condemned apart with hot pincers.

          1. It must be interesting for the person being executed too. There must be a few moments of consciousness while the head is detached. And if we are really lucky, maybe someone will reanimate the head which will then be controlled by demons from the moon until Merlin comes and fucks up their plan.

            1. There was a brief moment between reading that and having it click what you were referencing that I thought “well that’s oddly specific.”

            2. I get the reference but won’t add to the spoilers by mentioning the author.

              1. But the way you summarize it makes me think the author could have been a Hollywood screenwriter.

            3. Actually, I recall a story of a doctor during the French revolution working out a system of eyeblinks with the “condemmed” to see if they felt pain during the execution. Turns out they do.

        2. When I was in Dubrovnik a few years ago there was one just sitting around in a courtyard.

          I pointed it out to an Austrian woman who was nearby and she said “Zose French, zey are alwayz leaving zem around.”

        3. I think that’d be my choice, even just for novelty. So long as it’s been well maintained, it sounds like a fine way to go out.

    3. Moe: (stopping the archers) “Hold on a minute, now! Ain’t there another way we can die?”
      Archer: “You may either have your head cut off, or be burned at the stake!” (chuckles)
      Larry: “Cut my head off!”
      Curly: “Not me, I’d rather be burned at the stake!”
      Larry: “Why?”
      Curly: “A hot steak is better than a cold chop!” *BONK!*

    4. I would have beat him to death with a baseball bat. He was a monster.

      1. Hey! Every time I say things like this ^ about murderers people come after me. Why is JohnD the favored one?

  2. questions had been raised over the constitutionality of the state’s lethal injection secrecy law, which allowed state officials to prevent the disclosure of any information about the drugs used in lethal injections

    This seems completely crazy. What in the world could the rational basis for keeping this information secret be? I’m using my government random BS generator and even it is coming up with nothing.

    1. What in the world could the rational basis for keeping this information secret be?

      That’s a secret.

    2. The rational basis the state used was saying that if they revealed their sources, people might boycott/picket, and then the source might decide not to sell to them.

      (Not saying I agree, but that’s what they said)

        1. So their actual legal argument was that the truth is too terrible for the public to handle? Kind of perverse, don’t you think? Apparently, the more terrible the thing that you are doing, the more legal protections it will receive.

          1. +1 State Secret

    3. I think they use that to avoid pressure on the pharma folks – or if they are overseas suppliers, no sort of embargo…?

      1. I don’t think they’re using overseas suppliers nowadays. They probably wouldn’t be selling even without the EU rules. They’re using US-based compounding pharmacies, which have troubles of their own.

    4. Because anti death penalty folks pressure companies into not selling the drugs to the prisons.

      By keeping it secret, no one can attack the companies.

      1. If you are a drug company why sell to the prison system? They can’t buy enough to offset the bad publicity of your drugs killing people. Still I get patients asking if I am going to put them asleep with the stuff that killed Michael Jackson. Bad PR is hard to shake.

        1. I’d rather a private company manufacture it than the government.

          1. But if it’s being designed to government specifications I’d like to know what those specifications are. Because when nobody’s checking they don’t give a fuck.

      2. I fully support the death penalty for anti-death penalty people. They support the scum of the earth.

        1. How many innocent people would have to be executed before you became anti-death penalty?

          1. How many violent thugs would have to be released only to kill againg for you to be pro-death penalty?

            It works both ways.

            For myself, I would like to see much of the immunity stripped from prosecutors and law enforcement, so that agents of the state who subborn purgury or otherwise cheat to gain a comviction in a capitol case can be tried for attempted murder.

            1. “How many violent thugs would have to be released only to kill againg for you to be pro-death penalty?

              It works both ways.”

              Only if you think killing them or releasing them are your only options.

          2. How many innocent people would have to be executed before you became anti-death penalty?

            How many chil’ren would have to die of gunshot wounds before you would become pro-gun control?

            Save the fucking emotional drivel. For obvious practical reasons it should be harder than fuck for the state to execute someone, but there’s no rational philosophical basis for opposing the death penalty from a NAP standpoint.

            1. ?? Isn’t death penalty the ultimate “A”? The state, a group of 12 idiots, or a single idiot in a robe should not have the power to end someone’s life.

          3. The only death penalty I am in favor of is at the time and scene of the crime, preferably at the hands of the intended victim. It’s the only way to be sure.

    5. I know that at least one of the drugs in one of the lethal injection cocktails was foreign-sourced (IIRC, Canadian) and the foreign country involved prohibitted sale of the drug to US states for the purposes of lethal injection. Other drugs are hard to find other than through gray-market channels and raise the question as to how and where the state is procuring drugs that it would seem might require the commission of a felony somewhere along the line for them to possess. (But of course, we all know that the laws don’t apply to the state, just because they are illegally buying drugs doesn’t mean you are going to get a pass on that Vicodin in your pocket.)

    6. The drugs use are not a secret, only the supplier.

    7. The people who oppose the death penalty include a fair number who would bring suits over each and every ingrefient of a lethal injection, just to drag it out.

  3. This goes well with the story from yesterday about the number of innocent people on death row.

  4. Not a fan of the death penalty, but is there a reason we don’t pump a sealed room full of carbon monoxide?

    It seems like a simple, cheap, relatively humane way to go out.

    1. Overdose of morphine, nitrous oxide asphixiation, etc.

      1. That would be too humane.

      2. Besides, for all of our technology, it’s pretty tough to beat ye olde gallows in terms of effective pain-free human euthanasia.

    2. Even though you are rendered unconscious rather quickly, it ultimately takes a while to die.

    3. Nitrogen asphyxiation would be equally painless but much quicker.

    4. Not a fan of the death penalty, but is there a reason we don’t pump a sealed room full of carbon monoxide?

      You know what they say da gas chamber smell like? Pine oil.

    5. Death by SNUSNU!

    6. Substitute nitrogen for carbon monoxide and that was a serious proposal in the mid 90’s to get around the ethical implications for doctors administering lethal injection drugs. It’s actually a pretty good concept, and states with old gas chambers could recycle the facilities relatively easily.

  5. If we’re going to execute, I don’t see what’s so inhumane about a firing squad. Or hanging. Or a captive-bolt pistol to the forehead. Or an injection of a huge dose of cocaine and morphine. Or, I dunno, putting the prisoner in a burlap sack with a brick and throwing them in a creek. Anything seems better than these stupid drugs they use for lethal injections, except maybe for electrocution.

    If there’s one thing we can trust the government to do, it’s to do the wrong thing in the wrong way.

    1. And what’s wrong with the Running Man scenario?

      1. You cold-hearted bastard! I’ll tell what I think about it, I’ll live to see you eat that contract, but I hope you leave enough room for my fist because I’m going to ram it into your stomach and break your goddamn spine!

        1. Off your meds again?

          1. Obviously you have never watched The Running Man, because if you had, you would recognize this as a quote by the main character from the movie.

      2. Because look at what happened with Wittman, Price and Haddad!

        1. Last year’s looosers.

    2. And normally they are so good at killing.

    3. There is nothing wrong with the drug choice. The goons are just too stupid to notice a blown IV. Something a student nurse could spot in 10 seconds.

      1. Are you surprised? Prison guards are specifically chosen from the bottom quintile of the dumbest, drunkest, inbredest hillbilly applicants, and executioners from the bottom quintile of prison guards. But even the dumbest hillbilly can figure out how to shoot a cow in the forehead, that’s all I’m saying.

        1. 100 percent agree. That is why the power to kill prisoners needs to go away. Not that I am opposed to killing I just don’t trust the goon squad to do it.

          1. I would support a law that allows the family of the victim to do it. With baseball bats.

    4. I favor dropping something very heavy on the condemned person’s head. It is sufficiently gory and having your brain completely destroyed seems like it must be about the quickest ending of suffering possible.

      1. Won’t work. I’ve watched enough cartoons to know the guy will be up and walking around in the next scene.

        1. The 16 ton weights on Monty Python seemed to do the job OK.

          1. So did the giant foot.

      2. As I’ve mentioned here before, put the condemned person in an steel mill crucible and drop a load of molten steel into it. Instantly vaporized.

    5. yeah, I agree with all these sentiments (here and above)

      if anything, lethal injection is the CRUELEST method. I mean, it’s so slow and deliberate, and you so starkly have to face the fact that you’re about to die.

      I would much rather have the distraction of the pain of a firing squad, or the instantaneous brain disruption of the electric chair (though maybe they could do away with a verbal signal to flip the switch, so I don’t KNOW the moment I’m about to die)

      My own invention is a randomly-timed explosive helmet. Just put the guy in a yard, with a helmet strapped to his head that’s loaded with explosives. A detonator goes off at a random time that could be a few hours or a few weeks, and the guy just goes on living his life like that in this yard, with some entertainment like TVs and magazines and stuff, until he is finally exploded, and his head instantaneously vaporizes, along with his conciousness. No pain, no anticipation of death

      1. My own invention is a randomly-timed explosive helmet. Just put the guy in a yard, with a helmet strapped to his head that’s loaded with explosives. A detonator goes off at a random time that could be a few hours or a few weeks, and the guy just goes on living his life like that in this yard, with some entertainment like TVs and magazines and stuff, until he is finally exploded, and his head instantaneously vaporizes, along with his conciousness. No pain, no anticipation of death

        How would he not be anticipating death the entire time he had the helmet on?

        1. because it’s going to happen randomly within a few days or weeks. No idea when.

          Half the horror of being put to death is that you absolutely know it’s happening, you know that that is the last time you are ever going to sleep, or with the cair, you actually hear the guy say “roll on 1 ” or whatever to flip the switch

          If it’s just random, and I have plenty of time, I think I could manage to just entertain myself and live somewhat normally.

    6. As a libertarian, I’ve always had a problem with the state having a monopoly on the dispensation of justice – I’ve always figured people should be free to make their own choices. If you steal from people, you apparently don’t think theft is a problem and therefore have no right to complain when I steal from you. If you rape somebody and then bury them alive, you apparently think that’s acceptable behavior so what right do you have to complain when you get raped and buried alive?

      For a more comprehensive treatment, I think maybe England had the right idea as to Australia – ship people who can’t or won’t follow the rules regarding leaving other people alone off to an island somewhere where everybody else thinks following their own rules about leaving other people alone is just fine and dandy. I would suggest starting with a sizeable chunk of the population of Washington, DC. – and remind them that they are big advocates of not being allowed firearms with which to defend yourself.

      1. +1 Golden Rule

  6. I personally prefer beheading. And I think the one who passes the judgment should swing the sword.

    1. And if it is a jury, they can be the firing squad.
      If you think people should be executed, you should be willing to do it yourself.

      1. yes, I agree with this. I have no problem with execution, BUT I notice that no prosecutor wants me on his jury.

        Something about not believing that cops are more reliable, ethical, or honest than the accused I believe.

        I found it surprising that they would actually ASK if you have blind faith in the police.

      2. That’s stupid. Just because you don’t want to kill somebody doesn’t mean they don’t deserve to die. Justice is an eye for an eye. Why should people on the jury have to suffer because somebody else decided to murder in cold blood?

        1. No it’s not stupid. It’s easy to say you think a person deserves to die. Put your money where your mouth is, tough guy. If you think someone deserves to die, you should really know what that means and what it entails. Same reason I think executions should be bloody and gruesome.

          It’s cold blooded killing without any self defense justification. Why should it be easy for anyone to do that?

          1. People know what it entails. It doesn’t follow that they should have to execute it. They’ve done nothing wrong. Why should they be forced to do something they don’t want to do with zero practical justification? I guess non-aggression goes out the window for you when inconvenient.

            1. Where’s the aggression? They don’t have to do anything they don’t choose to do (beyond serving on the jury).
              I think separating people from the real consequences of their decisions like that is dangerous and makes it too easy to take lives.

            2. There’s no force. If they don’t want to execute the prisoner, the prisoner doesn’t get executed. No problem.

          2. Don’t eat meat unless you work in a slaughter house.

            1. Yes because the killing of a sentient being as punishment is totally comparable to killing of a creature for sustenance.

              Also, I’d be OK with pulling the trigger that kills the cow if that gets your jollies off. I’ll let somebody more expert than me do the butchering though.

            2. Yes Homple, if you oppose the butchering of meat, or would be too weak of stomach to kill the cow, don’t eat the meat.

              If you could not do your duty in executing the death penalty, then you should not be on a jury on a death penalty case.

              1. And if you support the death penalty, but could not follow that up on a jury by participating in the penalty you voted for on a jury. You are just a coward lacking in moral fiber.

        2. Justice is an eye for an eye.

          And that is hardly a settled matter.

          1. And those eyes don’t just remove themselves, so even if someone settles the matter, it doesn’t nullify your argument.

      3. I volunteer. It is an honor to be the one to remove these animals from society.

  7. If I am to be executed, the method of my choosing will be through smoking and eating white bread. Those two things are obviously the two most dangerous substances in the world.

    1. What are the health dangers of smoking white bread?

    2. Don’t forget eating trans-fats. Those are still bad for you this week, right?

    3. I’ll take Red Dye #2.

  8. This whole story is a prime example why I don’t support the death penalty. The whole thing is grotesque.

    1. I was once a believer in the death penalty for the deterrence factor.
      As it currently is carried out the deterrence factor is nullified. Prisoners sit for decades on death row.

      Hell if you wait until yo’u 60 or so before you kill your wifes lover you can die of old age before they get around to you.

      No more death penalty without overwhelming DNA evidence tested by more than one labs and the execution must be carried out within a more reasonable time frame.

      Life sentences could be carried out in special prisons that might make killers wish they had received death.

      1. And even if they didn’t sit on death row for so long, how many murderers actually get the death penalty? Can’t be more than a few percent. Is having a slight chance of being executed if you are caught and convicted really going to be much of a deterrent against the types of murders that the death penalty applies to?

        I oppose it for several reasons, but unless it is applied evenly and consistently, the deterrent effect is going to be tin or non-existent.

        1. Here’s why I oppose the death penalty.

          1. That’s a good reason, I think. But generally opposing government having the right to kill is also good.

    2. I was a big supporter in my more conservative day. It’s hard to imagine how a libertarian can see the government for what it is and yet still trust it to carry out the death penalty given it’s tendancy to screw things up.

  9. I used to be against the death penalty because I didn’t want the incompetent, venal state to have the power of life and death.

    Now I’m against the death penalty because dead men can’t pay reparations to their victims or their families. The joy of moving from a restitutionary system to a punitive one is that no one benefits but the state–the family of the dead gets no money for their loss, the taxpayer shells out millions in food, housing, and legal services for the convicted, and the killer just dies rather than making amends (or at least living as a virtual slave, which is–hazarding a guess here–better than being dead).

    1. How many lifers are in a position to make restitution to the victims?

      1. Thanks to the current CJ system, none. It would be different under a restitutionary system.

        1. I’m not convinced of that. I mean, let me be clear, I could be argued into it if you made a compelling argument, I just don’t (or can’t) see it.

        2. This is not a serious alternative.

          The people who are guilty of premeditated murder (the ones who can get the death penalty) are not people who can be released safely into the world to earn an income to pay restitution with.

          1. With current technology they could. A combination of lethal shock collar and GPS would suffice, just make it extremely difficult (if not impossible) to remove.

    2. there are some things you can give restitution for. There is NO way you could pay me back for killing my dog or one of my brothers.

      That’s part of the moral message of deliberate punishment vs. just restitution. Punishment sends a moral message that human life, and lots of lesser things like property (or not being raped, or your health) to some extent CAN’T be restituted. And that means it’s that much more of a crime for you to violate those things, it raises it above a worldly level, if you will.

      The death penalty also has this element. Granted there are issues with its deterrence effect, but as John mentioned in the other thread it does have its deterrent effects in special cases, and I think the moral message is important, too

      1. We talk about restitution “making a victim whole,” but it’s nothing of the sort–it’s just compensation for the violation of property rights, whether physical property or property in one’s person. And the difference between criminal and civil law is the difference of the victim receiving wealth or satisfaction of his choosing rather than getting no wealth and whatever justice the state deems appropriate. Restitution isn’t just limited to murder, of course–we could ditch the whole criminal prosecution thing and go to a society based entirely on torts, which is what most pre-modern civilizations did until kings and emperors figured out how to jigger the system to their advantage.

        I’m not against the death penalty, as I might want to kill someone who killed a member of my family; I’m against the state monopolizing that power. I suppose if a free society was up for it, we could have some sort of blood vengeance, but as a private tort/payment option on the part of the victim rather than the choice being left in the hands of the state.

        1. This is what the Code Duello was attempting to preserve. I would be in favor of bringing it back, and not just for criminal behavior. There are a lot of people out there whose mouths are writing checks their asses can’t cash.

          Starting with the “check your privilege” asstards. As far as I’m concerned that’s the new “shut up, nigger”.

    3. Retribution can be part of restitution, when one cannot restore the state of what was damaged, or provided in addition to compensation, where an act is simply reversed in kind.

      It is also because of this that everyone being forced to pay for incarceration as well as criminal records destroying any chance of recovery is unjust

    4. Care to explain just HOW someone would give you “restitution” for raping and murdering YOUR daughter?

      1. I’m ambivalent about the death penalty and think it should be strictly limited, but as far as this guy goes? Fuck him…he got what he deserved. Botched execution and all.

  10. Following this, a female prison official told horrified eyewitnesses, “We are going to lower the blinds temporarily.”

    What’s the matter? The reality of death not quite sterile enough for your bloodthirst, eyewitnesses?

    1. What the hell is the point of having witnesses if you aren’t going to let them witness what happens?

      1. The same point in having free speech and then classifying everything people might want to talk about, because they would talk about it.

  11. They should just go with a very large dose of Heroin. I’m sure there’s plenty of it in evidence rooms around the country.

    1. I’ve never quite understood why they don’t do this if they’re purely interested in a “humane” execution. Just drip opiates into them until their hearts stop. No muss, no fuss, and easily done on the cheap.

      I suspect that it has something to do with the fact that we don’t want their end to be too pleasant. The idea of a serial rapist/murderer going out on a rapturous high doesn’t appeal to the sense of righteous vengeance like an electric chair or noose might.

      1. Doesn’t even have to be a drip. One big lethal dose into a vein. It would be over very, very quickly.

        1. You would still need to dilute/dissolve it somewhat. As an EMT I know how hard it is to push D50 (which has the consistency of pancake syrup) which is why most agencies went to 250ml bags of D10. High concentrate heroin is just as bad.

      2. I always wondered why not cyanide. You drink a glass, you fall asleep, you don’t wake up.

        1. Hemlock.

      3. Opiate overdoses frequently cause post-mortem spasming, which might upset the eyewitnesses. Many of the complications in the lethal injection process is to create the illusion of it being completely peaceful for people who simultaneously want to watch someone die while at the same time not having to deal with the psychological effects of having watched someone die.

        1. Screw em. I’m not here to placate someone’s precious snowflakes. If you want to watch someone die you’d better have the stones.

      4. Because NOTHING LEFT TO CUT.

  12. Executions should be opt-in, with the alternative being life without parole (possibly solitary, depending on whether or not the crime makes the criminal dangerous to fellow convicts).

    1. Solitary is probably one of the most inhumane things you can do to someone. There’s a New Yorker article about it that really highlights just how terrible it is.

      Your brain begins to fail in really interesting ways if you go too long without human contact.

      1. Maybe, but it’s not fair to put other convicts in severe danger of death or maiming because we want to accommodate the multiple murderer’s psychological state. Without the death penalty, we have to find some way to house these individuals in a way that is safe for themselves and others.

        1. So put all of the real scum in one place segregated from the civilized GenPop. If they want to go Gladiator, let them. Hell, put it on pay per view and make your expenses. Get sponsors and make a profit.

  13. I’ve had sick pets euthanized – including a 130 lb Bullmastiff. He was gone in seconds after the injection.

    1. It’s my understanding that the companies that make the stuff to euthanize animals won’t sell to states for execution purposes, specifically because of the public backlash against them.

  14. What’s wrong with firing squad?

    1. No thumbhole stocks allowed.

  15. If they can humane execute my 17 yr old cancer-riddled cat, surely they can do this to a person?

    1. That too. What do vets use? There seems to be plenty of that around and it seems pretty quick and painless.

      1. See above: those companies don’t want the Sterling treatment.

  16. This latest kerfuffle is the reason while law enforcement is increasingly turning to the Summery Execution method. Once it is fully embraced all of this will cease to be a problem.

    1. Summery Execution? Does it involve a picnic and playing in the park?

      I prefer an Autumnal Execution.

  17. “Last night, a horrific scene played out at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary…”

    Bullshit. The “horrific scene” played out 15 years ago on the side of a dusty country road.

    “Neiman was forced to watch as Lockett’s accomplice, Shawn Mathis, spent 20 minutes digging a shallow grave in a ditch beside the road. Her friends saw Neiman standing in the ditch and heard a single shot.”

    “Lockett returned to the truck because the gun had jammed. He later said he could hear Neiman pleading, “Oh God, please, please” as he fixed the shotgun.”

    “The men could be heard “laughing about how tough Stephanie was” before Lockett shot Neiman a second time.”

    “He ordered Mathis to bury her, despite the fact that Mathis informed him Stephanie was still alive.”

    “Bornt and Neiman’s friend “were threatened that if they told anybody about these events, they too would be murdered,” court records state.”

    I’m fine with this shitbag suffering a bit.

    1. Bullshit. The “horrific scene” played out 15 years ago on the side of a dusty country road.

      There can only be one horrific scene ever?

      1. no, but it’s a matter of scope and context.

        what happened to the guy was not horrific given what he did

        1. Yes it was.

          Once you start making excuses to get out of following certain amendments (like the 8th), it’s much easier to make excuses to get out of following others (Preventing that guy from speaking was not a bad thing given what he was going to say. Preventing that group from owning guns was not a bad thing given that guns kill. Violating that man’s 4th amendment rights was not bad given that he was a criminal. And so on.)

          1. yup,

            which is why it’s good the death penalty is not a violation of the 8th amendment

            just because you have delicate sensibiities doesn’t mean it is

            1. I did not say the death penalty in and of itself is a violation of the 8th amendment. In this case, however, the treatment and eventual death almost certainly amounts to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the 8th amendment.

              1. It was certainly unusual.

              2. that’s stupid. For the state to have the power to do something they have to have the right to make an honest mistake every once in a while without said mistake (again, as long as it’s actually a mistake) being a CRIMINAL offense, or even just having to pay too much restitution for fixing the mistake. This goes for the death penalty and everything else, like paving roads.

              3. How so? He was sentenced to death and he died. Mission accomplished.

          2. Ok, so that guy deserved it. Killing him makes you feel better. I totally get that, and if I were a friend or relative of the victim I’d just ask for a crowbar and some time alone with the guy. But now you’re saying that it’s fine for the state to hold the power of life and death over citizens because in at least one case the person it killed was a bad guy. That’s like saying you’re totally fine with 1st-year med students performing heart surgeries because every once in a while they save someone’s life.

          3. Under Supreme Court precedent, it is not cruel and unusual if our evolving standards of decency does not make it so.

        2. Yeah, it’s still horrific. We are supposed to be better than that guy. Making him suffer doesn’t make anything better for anyone.

          1. We are better than that guy. The death penalty is retribution, not initiation. That’s why it’s just.

            And whether it makes it better or not is entirely subjective. I thought libertarians were subjectivists? Guess not.

            1. I’m just not into retribution or revenge, I guess. I don’t think it does any good. Yes, that is my own normative judgement, but so is your assessment of the horrificness of the crime.
              To me, the purpose of a penal system is to provide some deterrent for more minor stuff and to take truly dangerous people out of circulation. If you want it to do more than that, I could get behind restitution to the victims of crime, which might actually make someone’s life better.

          2. He killed an innocent girl. “We” (really, the state) killed a murderer. We are better than that guy.

            I’m basically anti-death penalty because I don’t think the risk of executing even one innocent person (see yesterday’s story) is worth it, but I don’t see a moral equivalence here.

            1. While I do generally oppose death penalty, that particular comment was in response to someone who thought that this particular botched job was not horrific because the guy was a bad guy. Maybe killing the guy is the just and appropriate thing to do. But making him suffer needlessly is definitely not.

      2. I don’t quantify a dying from a botched injection of lethal drugs leading to a heart attack as “horrific”. I do quantify being kidnapped, bound, gagged, raped, shot twice with shotgun, and buried alive as horrific.

        As far as the State having the power of death goes, I don’t entirely agree with that. I think any judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer that is caught intentionally fabricating evidence, or withholding exculpatory evidence, should serve the sentence of those they have wrongly convicted. I also think that the victim, or family of the victim should be given the opportunity to reenact an episode of Dexter once the condemned is strapped to that neat little table.

      3. You are a disgusting piece of crap.

        This vermin deserved to die a long drawn out painful death while being reminded of what he did the entire time.

        THAT filmed and shown on the 11 o’clock news is a deterrent and STILL not even close to what he deserves.

    2. It took a lot longer than I thought it would to get this “the evil bastard deserved it” post.

      1. I am against the DP.
        I am also the father of two daughters. I have a hard time giving a fuck about this one.

        Just being honest.

        1. I used to say I was against the death penalty, too, but “exceptions” like this one kept popping up until I decided to get real.

          1. I don’t even know what that means “get real.”

            I’ve come to the conclusion the death penalty is wrong is because of my reasons. Other DP opponents have their own reasons. My reasons started with the fact that the .gov hardly ever gets anything right. But my favorite reason is this: everyone, even this shitheel, deserves an opportunity to “get right with God.” And if you believe in that stuff, that’s pretty important. YMMV.

            All of that said, the whole discussion is amusing. If he would have died quietly, there wouldn’t be a news story and no hand-wringing outside of a few die-hards. But the net result would be the same: one dead guy. If “the public” is ok executing people, I don’t know why we get out the fainting couch for this one.

            1. How long does it take him to repent and “get right with God”?

              I am ok with executing evil bastards like this, and seeing them in pain, and all the rest of it.

              If it was MY daughter, I would be the one in court because he would have died way sooner.

              1. Me too, I just don’t buy the Law and Order line of “No jury will ever convict you.” That from a third or fourth season episode where a rapist got let go and the distraught father brought and gun and cowboyed him in the rotunda. The cops talked him down with that line.

                I call BS. It would be very easy to stack a jury so he would be convicted even noting the prior event.

    3. In theory, I am fine with the death penalty but in practice maybe not so much. As you point out, this was a horrific crime, as are most death penalty crimes. Which means the cops are under a lot of pressure to solve the case and the prosecutor is under a lot of pressure to get a conviction – which tends to always make me wonder if they found the right guy or merely the most convenient guy. Were I on a jury in a death penalty case, there would be one hell of a high bar set to make me certain that this is the guy who done it and not simply the guy the cops and the prosecutor have decided is going to take the heat off of them.

    4. Well said. You people whining that this dirt bag suffered cruel and unusual punishment can go to hell.

  18. Rope is faster and cheaper.

  19. I’d really like to be above the vindictiveness of it, but they should have just buried that fucker alive.

    1. I can understand the impulse, but I think there is something very wrong with killing in cold blood or torture. No amount of revenge or vindictiveness is going to make the situation any better for anyone.

      Had the family of the victim buried him alive, I probably wouldn’t hold it against them.

      1. Yeah, given a few minutes to get over the anger and I think a handful of bullets is a better solution. If the guy really wants to be an organ donor, then he can be hanged instead.

        1. Why bother? Just put him under and harvest the organs. No muss, no fuss.

      2. We give cops a lot of grief around here, but I could never be a detective. I watch 48 Hours and after they show the victims family being notified I usually want to hang the first suspect they find…who often ends up not being the person who did it.

        1. We give a load of crap to street cops who violate the rights of people on the street with extreme prejudice, and they deserve every bit of it.

          1. You are a fool. Few cops violate the rights of people on the street. That’s why it’s always news.

            1. No, its always on the news because its generally caught on film… unless you believe that cops not seen on film are somehow better behaved.

            2. More than you think. Every 98 minutes a cop shoots someone’s dog. I used to believe these were all Pit Bulls jumping out of meth labs. Not the case at all.

              If you don’t think there are a lot of psychotic cops out there, you are honestly following this issue.

              We have a HUGE FUCKING cop problem in this country. It can no longer be ignored by honest people. And it is NOT always news. Social media and smart phone cameras have revealed what was hidden. Now it is only hidden by our denial and self-delusion.

              1. *If you don’t think there are a lot of psychotic cops out there, you are NOT honestly following this issue.

                It’s late.

              2. And by officialdom. Just look at Philadelphia. No charges for cops who deserve to be torn apart in GenPop.

      3. Had the family of the victim buried him alive, I probably wouldn’t hold it against them.

        then put it in the hands of the victim’s family, the decision on whether or not capital punishment should be considered AND the execution (pardon the pun) of it.

        I suspect people would go either way but if the end result is sparing us from bullshit that engages in pearl clutching over how a killer was dispatched and virtually nothing for the victim, it’s a net gain.

        1. ” way but if the end result is sparing us from bullshit that engages in pearl clutching over how a killer was dispatched and virtually nothing for the victim, it’s a net gain.”

          Not clear why you think the pearl clutching would abate in the case of handing this over to the families.

          Most certainly the first study would show a racist bias among families who forgive vs choose punishment.

  20. *If* you’re going to do this and it needs to be fast, administer a heavy duty sedative (the stuff my dentist gave me for my root canal, for example), then when he nods off, bullet to the brainstem.

    1. Waste of usable organs. If you’re gonna go that route just cut him open and harvest. At least then he’s of some use to society.

  21. how about we just save the death penalty for crimes where there is substantial physical evidence and/or video? There are many cases that have this, and as video cameras become installed in more and more places and become cheaper and cheaper, more crimes will be caught on tape like this.

    On top of that, given the extra overwhelming evidence, we speed up the sentencing and trials processes, to avoid spending so much money.

    I mean really, if we have the guy on tape killing someone, there’s no issue with executing him with only one or two appeals. Ditto cases with overwhelming physical evidence (buttloads of DNA in exactly the right places which are never really trafficked by anyone – stuff like that, there are cases like that where you KNOW a guy did it beyond even a shadow of a doubt. I remember seeing a 20/20 or some show thingy on some technology that would supposedly exonerate innocent people, but the case they were using it on was so obviously a guilty guy. He had the gun, they knew it was his caliber, they knew it was gone from his place that night because his roommate said so, yadda yadda, I mean it was retarded the amount of evidence they had)

    1. See: North Carolina crime lab scandal, among other issues with this. Just because there’s physical evidence doesn’t mean the person’s necessarily guilty.

      1. This. Especially if the lab is getting paid on conviction. Conflict of interest doesn’t begin to describe that.

  22. This just proves my argument that the State cannot be trusted with the power to execute its prisoners. No, my heart does not bleed for murderers, and whether or not killing the convicted would bring their victim back is stupid. A murderer is a threat to society. But given the State’s propensity for framing innocent men in order to secure convictions, combined with the likelihood of the knuckle-draggers employed by the State to botch the execution, it seems to me that the State cannot be trusted with this power.

    Might just be that mountain blood, but I’m not bothered by the idea that the right of justice belongs to a murder victim’s next of kin.

    1. A murderer is a threat to society.

      If that is the reason for execution, then I would think that lesser degrees of murder should be eligible, as well as insane or mentally deficient people. Lots of premeditated murder is done for a specific reason and there isn’t much threat to society in general. It’s the people with uncontrollable anger and who don’t have the moral sense or cognitive capacity to stop themselves killing people who are the biggest threats to society.

      1. the people with uncontrollable anger and who don’t have the moral sense or cognitive capacity to stop themselves killing people who are the biggest threats to society.

        That’s no way to talk about our Brave Public Heroes in the Drone Pilot Program.

        With the snark quota met, every murder is a homicide, but not every homicide is a murder. Some kill by accident, some by intent but they were justified in their intent. The type of asshole you seem to be referring to, the one who gets his feelings hurt and decides the best way to make himself feel better is to kill the person who hurt his feelings…yeah, I’m not sorry to see that guy laid out.

        But there is another class of asshole, the one’s who kill for no better reason than they can do it. They get someone in their power, and they just pull the trigger. They don’t gain anything from it, they’ve got no good reason to do it, they just plain to give a damn.

        1. Every major city police department, as an example…

    2. I totally agree, and maybe it’s the clan (not Klan) thing. As in most situations, I have yet to see the problem that a disconnected, remote government bureaucracy can solve more effectively than a community immediately involved. I’m completely against the death penalty but completely fine with a lynch mob throwing this guy in the back of a van and making him fertilizer.

      1. The problem with the next of kin taking revenge, or whatever you want to call it, is that unless everyone agrees about who was in the wrong, you can easily end up in situations where you have long running family or tribal feuds.

        1. @Zeb:

          Sure, that’s a risk. One idea might be something I suggested below partially in jest, which is to resurrect the idea of outlawry. Another, which I support 100%, is the abolition of the death penalty.

        2. Back in ye olden days of Merry Olde England (prior to 1938), the courts had this device called a writ of outlawry. Anyone subject to such a writ could be killed, on sight, without penalty, by any person.

          1. What could be the downside?

      2. Also, don’t start talking about “threats to society” unless you can give me a more accurate membership list than the minimum number of people required to coerce the rest of the people involved. Every time someone mentions “society” it usually means “a mob” or “people who agree with me.”

      3. I have yet to see the problem that a disconnected, remote government bureaucracy can solve more effectively than a community immediately involved

        Uh, I think this has departed controlled flight and veered into fantasy land.

        As bad as the government is, lynch mobs are 1 bajillion times worse.

        The problem is that we have made our government unaccountable for fucking up, and made it too hard to do the right thing. Cutting them out of the equation and giving the power to a bunch of people who talked it over in a bar and decided that guy is guilty and must be hanged is not an improvement.

  23. The death penality should never implemented without accountability. That means charging the prosecutors, judge and jury with murder if they turn out to be wrong.

  24. Let me just add that I DON’T think there’s anything wrong with the vengeful impulse and punishing wrongdoers.
    It’s part of what drives (relative, compared to animals) human peace, by creating disincentives.

    It has its problems when the thing you’re dealing out vengeance on was actually wrong itself, but as long as you’re getting vengeance on some violation that actually was a violation, it’s right.

    I’d do unspeakable things to people if they messed with my loved ones, and I wouldn’t have any problem with anybody knowing it so they know I’m not to be messed with (this is of course excluding cases where an overarching, powerful central government makes it illegal for me to do so, like we have now)

  25. Midazolam is relatively cheap. I’m not sure why anyone would use a low dose in these cases. I’m a bit more bothered by a threat from a state representative to impeach 5 members of a supreme court who are merely asking for time to decide if something is constitutional. After 15 years, 7 more days is enough to threaten impeachment.

    1. Has anybody started a movement to impeach the guy who wanted to impeach the Supremes? Or has the guy made any statement as to whether or not he still wants impeachment proceedings? It seems like maybe they were right.

      1. That would be a recall petition and I’m not sure Oklahoma allows for this.

        I’m sure it would be something to bring up in a negative campaign ad next election cycle.

    2. Oklahoma has a dual-court system. The Supreme Court only hears civil matters, while the Court of Criminal Appeals has jurisdiction over criminal cases. The OKSC was clearly out of bounds in issuing a stay after the OKCCA had already rejected the defendant’s appeals/lawsuits over the drugs to be used. THAT is why the state House is considering impeachment.

      1. But there is also a clause in there that states when jurisdiction is in flux the Supreme Court has the final say. Probably a stretch but other laws have been stretched much further.

  26. “Oklahoma’s Horrific Botched Execution Could Have Been Prevented”

    Easy: Don’t let the state kill anyone.

    1. Agreed.

      I’m amazed at the number of people, even in this very thread right now, who think “But some criminals are really, really awful and it makes me feel good when they suffer” is a sufficient rejoinder to this.

      1. It’s also depressingly predictable.

      2. Compare Lockett’s last hour alive with that of his victim and tell me again how much the murderer suffered.

        1. Not saying Lockett is innocent, he clearly isn’t, but you do realize that sometime the government gets it wrong. You are OK with killing innocent people… nice.

    2. Tales of botched executions bother me less than “oops, we executed the wrong guy! Our bad!”

  27. If you’re actually a libertarian or a small-government conservative, I don’t understand how you can be in favor of the death penalty. How can you walk into a DMV and say to yourself, “These are the people I want to determine the time and manner of my death.” Honestly, if you think that the state is too incompetent to handle health care or education and too corrupt and inept to be trusted with tax revenue, how the hell is it perfectly suited to snap its fingers and kill someone?

    I’m not arguing that this guy shouldn’t have died, or that the family isn’t due some revenge. If you want to declare someone an outlaw in the historical sense of the word and stick a GPS locator in his ass linked to a Facebook account, feel free. But you can’t in good faith say that the state is too big and too powerful except for the one area that is the clearest manifestation of the state’s scope and power.

    1. No, no, you have it all wrong. The.ONLY thing the state is good at is killing people and creating misery. They always TOP MEN on it because that is what.the state does. It is force and.coercion incarnate.

      When you go to the.DMV they aren’t trying to help you or to do anything but prove that they could PREVENT you from doing something useful. They are causing.misery, and what they do best.

      You.need to.rethink the.idea that the state is there

      The state’s core competency is death, and therefore they should be the most trusted among all to

      1. I don’t get the DMV references. Here in Minneapolis, they are friendly, professional helpful and efficient.

        1. They are friendly, helpful, and efficient in *granting* you something they should have no right to grant. They are pleasant because you are acquiescing to their pretended authority. You perpetuate their.power, and therefore they look.upon you with, if not favor, at least tolerance.

    2. Given what he did, Clayton Lockett is damn lucky that the DMV rather than I got to choose the manner and timing of his death.

      1. Way to miss the point.

        1. Wherever did you get the idea that I approve of executing innocent people?

    3. Vigilante death squads are worse.

  28. So I appear to be in a unique position to spoil some soccer results.

    Sounds like fun.

  29. I don’t think the thinking is that “some criminals are really awful,” it’s that “some criminals do terrible things to innocent people that are far, far worse than the fates that the criminals themselves eventually suffer, even in botched executions.” Justice, by definition, requires a degree of proportionality between what a person did and what is done to that person. So, for many people, even botched executions are unjustly easy on the criminal, which is the dynamic you’re seeing in this thread. Personally, I think it’s best for justice to be meted out Ned Stark style–swift and clean. But am I going to lose any sleep because this guy suffered a bit along the way? Can’t say that I will.

  30. There’s a reason justice has a blindfold. And why the system is set up to favor evidence over emotion. So everyone going on about the heinousness of the guy’s crime is always missing the point.

    The death penalty serves no valid public interest whatsoever.

    1. And your comments serve no valid public interest.

    2. “The death penalty serves no valid public interest whatsoever.”

      Last time I checked, there was a zero-percent recidivism rate among those criminals who were executed. Zero. I think that serves the “public interest” quite well.

      1. So the only reason we should continue using the death penalty is because of the chance someone with a life sentence might escape?

        1. Did I say that? A 0% recidivism rate is just one benefit. I have no desire to pay for the care and feeding of those convicted of capital crimes, nor do I wish to pay for the infrastructure required to keep them safely isolated from society for decades to come. Execution, if done expeditiously and efficiently, is a great cost-cutting measure.

          1. It can’t be done expeditiously in a country that affords due process, which is why it often ends up costing Americans more than imprisoning people for decades.

            I don’t know why I’m surprised this place is so torn on this issue. It’s not like it’s about literal government control over life and death. Oh, but I forget, that’s good force. Bad force is the more metaphorical kind by which you’re taxed to pay for the shit you use every day.

            1. It can’t be done expeditiously in a country that affords due process, which is why it often ends up costing Americans more than imprisoning people for decades.

              How does Afghanistan afford it?

              How did ancient Rome afford it?

        2. yeah, it happens more often than you’d think.

          You don’t hear about it on the news a lot, but it does happen.

          At least that aspect should be considered

          1. plus, it removes a hardened criminal from the prison. Somebody with a life sentence has nothing better to do, so he’s more likely to cause trouble.

    3. Of course it does. It permanently removes a vicious criminal from society and NOBODY has to pay for his upkeep…ever again! Let me guess. You’re “pro-choice” too.

  31. I think if we are going to be ok with torturing and being callous about how a murder and a rapist are executed, we should at least follow the laws and procedures and remove from our constitution the cruel and unusual punishment thing

    1. “Cruel and unusual” is subjective. I’m fairly certain that if a loved-one of yours was kidnapped, raped, tortured, shot, and buried alive, what constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment for the perpetrator, in your view, would shift more toward the “let me have five minutes with him and a filet knife” point of view, than it would towards the “I feel so sorry for him, please don’t make him suffer” point of view.

      1. putting someone to death is not cruel nor unusual. That the process is horrific to the person because he knows it’s happening is a side-effect of the fact that there’s no other feasible way to do it; if we could just sneak up on them and captive-bolt-pistol them we would and it wouldn’t be cruel just because it was a killing.

        The original context the 8th was written in was in the Enlightenment, and they were specifically referring to the relatively recent tortures that had been used.

        Killing something in and of itself is not particularly cruel.

      2. The language is ‘Cruel and Unusual’. It is ok for punishments to be ‘Cruel’ or ‘Unusual’, but it is not ok for punishments to be both. If we made it a regular practice to execute criminals (so it is not ‘unusual’) it would be ok for it to be quite unpleasant (‘cruel’). I could devise some ways of doing perps in that would be quite painful.
        Let’s do it.

    2. How about this? If you murder someone, you will be put to death in the EXACT, SAME WAY your victim died. Rape/strangulation? YOU get raped and strangled. Shot with a shotgun? YOU get shot with a shotgun. etc. etc.

  32. Pretty ridiculous that the average reason commenter can give you 5 methods of execution of the top of their head that are faster and more humane.

  33. One of the most terrifying songs ever produced is Johnny Cash’s 25 Minutes to Go.

    1. I always make sure to play that song whenever I feel like committing a capital crime.

  34. So humane is now the standard against which we measure the method of putting someone to death?

    1. Of course, and this logic carries over into other things as well. For instance, in Afghanistan, if I want to flush a bunch of people that are shooting at me out of a house with tear-gas, I can’t because it’s a “war crime” (and some other shit about chemical weapons), but if I drop a 2000lb JDAM on them from 38,000 feet and turn the entire structure into a 300′ column of dust and bone chips, it’s “humane” and legal. It’s an absolute must that one appease the doves when killing people.

  35. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stated that Lockett’s botched execution fell short of the humane standards required when capital punishment is carried out.

    And my cat ate some cat food and took a nap today*.

    Who the hell cares what Carney thinks about anything, and why does anyone pretend it’s relevant?

    He’s a press secretary. He’s not a legislator or a jurist. He’s a talking head for the Executive.

    His “opinions”** on this matter could not possibly be less relevant.

    (* I’m inferring that, but it’s almost certainly true.

    ** Quotes because they are not, of course, his opinions, or at least his job isn’t to profess his opinions. They’re the position of the President… who nearly equally has no real qualifications or relevance to the issue.

    Congress or the Courts might have something relevant to say. The President cannot; it’s outside his remit.)

  36. It was botched because of decades of ridiculous progressive lawyering making it virtually impossible for the legal system (or society in general)to do anything remotely close to using common sense. Killing people quickly is not difficult.

  37. Don’t understand why this is “horrific”. He was sentenced to death…and he’s dead. Mission accomplished. His death was infinitely less “horrific” than the death of the young girl he murdered.

  38. He’s dead as planned, what was botched about it? Because he suffered? Tough shit. Fuck him may he rot in hell. I hope his death was pure torture although I doubt it was. And as for Odumbass not thinking executions prevent crime, that particular scumbag will never again harm another person.

  39. The search for a safe and painless way of killing criminals is actually a ruse for people who don’t actually want to kill criminals. There are reliable methods, including hanging, shooting (best just a quick shot to the brain stem) and a method once used in Spain: the garrot: sit the perp in a chair and strangle him (or her) with a strap around the throat. This method is quite reliable and does not result in messy results. I actually prefer painful and messy executions, but then I have to live with all of you libs.

  40. Is it weird to anyone else that we allow the gov’t to take someone’s life? What gives the state the right to end the life of a human. Regardless of what that human did, I don’t think anyone has the right to anyone else’s life. It’s very strange…

    1. Here, you forgot your spine…

      Hypothetically, if someone were to break into your home with the intent of raping you, and you had access to a lethal weapon, would you use that weapon to prevent the crime, or would you hand the perp a tube of KY and ask them to go easy on you?

    2. It is better for the state to do it than vigilante death squads to do it.

  41. Classic government incompetence. Any Army medic could take these guys out in 60 seconds. Lawyers!

  42. This looks like a successful execution. He’s dead.

  43. Given the way and manner he murdered that poor girl, his manner of death was poetic justice.

    God had the last word.

  44. I agree with several other commentators. For decades I have said that the primary purpose of the justice system should be compensation of the victim. To use a religious reference for simplicity, it is God’s job to punish. It is the State’s job to provide compensation to the victim in a just manner. Sometimes this is difficult but the possibility of error is so high that punishment, especially capital punishment, is not reasonable in this day and age.

  45. It’s amazing the number of reactionaries who call themselves libertarians. That’s been my thesis all along.

    If the argument is that the government should respond in a retributionary manner to a heinous crime why not just subject them to scaphism? That’s some libertarian position. What is libertarian golden boy Rand Paul’s position on capital punishment again?

  46. Horrific my a**. Being buried alive is horrific. Being under sedation for 45 minutes is called a lunchtime at Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s.

  47. He suffered. So what? Considering the grisly crime he committed, I hope it was as slow and painful as reported.

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