OKLAHOMA CITY (CAP) - Death penalty advocates are objecting to the characterization of Oklahoma's recent execution as "botched," noting that the prisoner did eventually wind up dead.
"Now if he had lived, man, that would be a botch job," noted Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has personally overseen 275 executions in his home state, some of them in his own driveway.
"I always keep a full clip handy in case something goes wrong," noted Perry. "The minute he starts squirming around, bam! That's also how I deal with sick cattle, and puppies."
Clayton Lockett, 38, was declared unconscious 10 minutes after the first of three drugs in Oklahoma's new lethal injection combination was administered Tuesday evening. Three minutes later, he began breathing heavily, writhing, clenching his teeth and straining to lift his head off the pillow.
"It was a little awkward," noted Oklahoma state executioner Willie Carriker, who said everybody in the room - Carriker, Death Row warden Robert Suggs, medical examiner Charlie Whisenant and a radio contest winner he declined to name - started trading nervous glances the minute Lockett started foaming at the mouth.
"I think we were all thinking, uh-oh, what if this fella lives?" he said.
The blinds eventually were lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery, mostly field trip attendees from local elementary schools, from watching what was happening in the death chamber, and the contest winner was asked to turn around.
Lockett died of a "heart attack" a short time later, the Department of Corrections said, noting that he was absolutely not hit in the head with a giant mallet.
"So all's well that ends well," said Carriker. "Well, except for the guy who died a horrible, gruesome death, but you get the idea."
- CAP News Staff