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A look at local, national coverage of Oklahoma’s botched execution

IRE board member Ziva Branstetter, enterprise editor at the Tulsa World, was among the media witnesses present Tuesday during the botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett.

In a short video posted on the Tulsa World’s website, Branstetter and reporter Cary Aspinwall describe the failed execution.

The execution has prompted some local news outlets to scrutinize their state’s lethal injection drugs. Here’s a look at how local and national media are covering the story:



Execution scrutiny rages after botched execution of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett | Tulsa World

Oklahoma's botched execution Tuesday became the subject of intense international scrutiny as questions emerged on whether the use of an unproven drug protocol led to an inhumane death for inmate Clayton Lockett.

To view all of the Tulsa World’s coverage, click here.


Oklahoma governor halts executions while officials review botched lethal injection | The Oklahoman

Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday the state will hold no further executions until a thorough review is completed into a botched lethal injection that has drawn worldwide attention.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson will lead the effort to find out why the Tuesday evening execution of convicted killer Clayton Lockett went wrong and what improvements can be made.


TDCJ Has Supply of Drug Used in Botched Oklahoma Execution | Texas Tribune

The drug used in Tuesday night’s botched execution in Oklahoma – midazolam – is stored by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and can be used at any time in the state's death penalty protocol, raising concerns among defense lawyers and others about the state’s secretive lethal injection process.

Documents obtained by defense attorneys and shared with The Texas Tribune show that TDCJ obtained midazolam last June, has approximately 30 vials of the drug and the expiration date for them is 2015.


When executions go wrong: Looking at Idaho's death penalty | KTVB - Boise

Idaho currently has 12 people on death row. No death warrants are currently issued, but the state's standard operation procedure for executions is in place, and was recently reviewed as part of a regular process by the Idaho Department of Correction.

In January, KTVB's records request was denied, with IDOC saying that information is exempt from disclosure. After the situation in Oklahoma, KTVB again requested drug inventory and order information, and IDOC again denied the request.


Will botched Oklahoma execution impact Missouri executions? | KTVI – St. Louis

Missouri attorneys and death penalty activists are promising action after an execution by lethal injection in Oklahoma was botched Tuesday night.

Clayton Lockett’s execution used a new drug combination whose source is unknown.  Missouri is another state, along with Oklahoma, that won’t reveal its execution drug source.


Oklahoma execution nightmare shines light on California policies | SFGate

The secrecy-shrouded, botched execution in Oklahoma on Tuesday couldn't happen the same way in California, where state laws and regulations require public disclosure of the drugs used in lethal injections, where they come from and how they are administered.



Oklahoma Vows Review of Botched Execution | The New York Times

As Clayton D. Lockett writhed and groaned on the gurney on Tuesday night after a large dose of sedatives had apparently not been fully delivered, the Oklahoma chief of corrections rushed to call the governor and the attorney general. Something had gone disastrously wrong with the lethal injection, he told them, and the execution of a second man must be delayed. Gov. Mary Fallin instantly agreed.


For more states, execution means improvisation as drug supplies dwindle | The Washington Post

In their scramble to carry out death sentences, prison officials from different states have made secret handoffs of lethal-injection drugs. State workers have carried stacks of cash into unregulated compounding pharmacies to purchase chemicals for executions. Some states, like Oklahoma, have relied on unproven drug cocktails, all while saying they must conceal the source of the drugs involved to protect suppliers from legal action and harassment.


Botched Oklahoma execution raises questions about lethal injections | The Associated Press

A bungled execution in Oklahoma this week provides death penalty opponents with a fresh, startling example of how lethal injections can go wrong. But the odds of successfully challenging the nation's main form of capital punishment will probably hinge on exactly what caused the inmate's apparent agony.

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