A botched execution using a disputed new drug combination left an Oklahoma inmate writhing and clenching his teeth on the gurney Tuesday, leading prison officials to halt the proceedings before the inmate’s eventual death from a heart attack.
Clayton Lockett, 38, was declared unconscious 10 minutes after the first of the state’s new three-drug combination was administered. Three minutes later, he began breathing heavily, writhing on the gurney, clenching his teeth and straining to lift his head off the pillow.
The blinds eventually were lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber, and the state’s top prison official eventually called a halt to the proceedings, although it didn’t save Lockett.
“It was a horrible thing to witness. This was totally botched,” said Lockett’s attorney, David Autry.
Republican Gov. Mary Fallin ordered a 14-day stay of execution for another inmate who was scheduled to die two hours after Lockett, Charles Warner. She also ordered the Department of Corrections to conduct a “full review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening’s execution.