Death row inmate dies after botched execution; second execution stayed

Charles Warner

An Oklahoma death row inmate has died of a heart attack after what is being described by authorities as a failed execution attempt Tuesday evening. According to the Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton, the execution of inmate Clayton Lockett was stopped due to a vein failure just before 7 p.m. Tuesday. The DOC reports that Lockett suffered a suspected massive heart attack just after 7 p.m. and was pronounced dead. The DOC says Lockett's execution began at 6:23 p.m. Tuesday. After being injected, he began convulsing and shaking. At 6:33 p.m., witnesses said Lockett was unconscious and murmuring words. Around 6:49 p.m., Patton announced they were stopping Lockett's execution, citing vein failure. The execution of Charles Warner, scheduled for 8 p.m., was then stayed for 14 days by Gov. Mary Fallin following the failure during Lockett's execution. Fallin has ordered a full review of Oklahoma's execution procedure.The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma called for an immediate moratorium on all executions pending the outcome of the investigation into Lockett's execution. "In Oklahoma's haste to conduct a science experiment on two men behind a veil of secrecy, our state has disgraced itself before the nation and world." said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU of Oklahoma executive director. A four-time felon, Lockett, 38, was convicted of shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in rural Kay County in 1999 after Neiman and a friend arrived at a home the men were robbing. Warner had been scheduled to be put to death two hours later in the same room and on the same gurney. The 46-year-old was convicted of raping and killing his roommate's 11-month-old daughter in 1997. He has maintained his innocence. Lockett and Warner had sued the state for refusing to disclose details about the execution drugs, including where Oklahoma obtained them. The case, filed as a civil matter, placed Oklahoma's two highest courts at odds and prompted calls for the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices after the court last week issued a rare stay of execution. The high court later dissolved its stay and dismissed the inmates' claim that they were entitled to know the source of the drugs. By then, Gov. Mary Fallin had weighed into the matter by issuing a stay of execution of her own - a one-week delay in Lockett's execution that resulted in both men being scheduled to die on the same day.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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