Quantcast
Connect with us

Rachel Maddow guest: Botched Oklahoma execution was like watching medieval torture

Published

on

Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow discussed the botched execution of convicted killer Clayton Locket by Oklahoma prison officials. The state was set to execute two inmates on Tuesday evening, but after Locket’s death by lethal injection went awry, the second execution was postponed.

“You may have read lately that state prison systems have been finding it difficult — and in some cases, impossible — to get the chemicals that have traditionally been used in the lethal injection process,” Maddow said. The company that manufactured the main chemical no longer makes it and European companies don’t want their products used for the death penalty.

ADVERTISEMENT

The state of Oklahoma decided to keep the actual chemical formula of its execution cocktail a secret, but it was known that the poisons carried “a substantial risk of inflicting severe pain.”

The state supreme court ruled to stay the executions, but Gov. Mary Fallon (R) declared that the executions would go forward over the court’s objections. The court decided to reverse its ruling and the killings were slated to go forward on Tuesday.

In August of 2000, Clayton Locket and two accomplices carried out a vicious, brutal attack on a man and two 19-year-old women and the man’s 9-month-old son. The women were raped multiple times and one of them was shot twice in a ditch and buried even as she was in her death-throes.

“When a state executes a prisoner, it’s typical for reporters to be allowed to cover that punishment and write about it,” said Maddow. Locket’s execution was covered by AP reporter Bailey Elise McBride. McBride took to the social medium Twitter and announced Tuesday evening that the execution she was witnessing had gone horribly wrong and Locket was suffering a prolonged and painful death.

Locket died in a hospital of a heart attack, more than 40 minutes after he was injected with the execution drugs. Robert Patton, Oklahoma’s director of corrections, blamed “vein failure” for the fact that the drugs did not work on Locket.

ADVERTISEMENT

Maddow welcomed attorney Madeline Cohen to the show. She represented Charles Warner, whose execution was postponed for two weeks after Locket’s went wrong. Cohen said that state officials are lying about Locket.

“He did not have vein failure,” Cohen said. “That is dissembling by the Department of Corrections to cover up a horribly botched execution.”

Maddow said that something many people don’t understand is that while the Constitution protects U.S. citizens from cruel and unusual punishment, it does allow for executions, but dictates that they must be humane.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cohen said that what she wants for the sake of her client is transparency. She said that she wants to know what drugs the state intends to use and where they came from. Because of the shortage of death penalty drugs, she said, prisons are turning to “questionable sources” for the chemicals.

“This is the thing we never wanted to happen,” said Cohen. “This is what we’ve feared and why we need to have transparency in the process.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“It’s horrible,” she said. “We never want this to happen…It was like watching somebody be tortured. It was the farthest thing from a Constitutional execution that we can imagine.”

Watch video about this story, embedded below:

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Andrew Cuomo rips Trump like never before: ‘This was the worst government blunder in modern history’

Published

on

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) on Monday accused President Donald Trump of presiding over "the worse government blunder in modern history."

At his daily COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo said that it was time for the president to hit the "reset button" on his handling of the pandemic.

"If we don't tell the truth on the reset, COVID will never end," the New York governor explained. "It will ricochet across the country. It will just bounce back and forth."

"This was a colossal blunder -- how COVID was handled by this federal government," he continued. "Shame on all of you. Six months, lives lost. Hit the reset button, yes."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump snaps at Jim Acosta for reminding him of coronavirus death toll: ‘Fake news CNN’

Published

on

President Donald Trump on Monday snapped at CNN's Jim Acosta when he reminded the president that the novel coronavirus so far has killed 155,000 Americans.

During a question-and-answer session with reporters, the president boasted that the United States had done an "amazing" job at handling the COVID-19 pandemic, at which point Acosta interrupted him and tried to ask him about the 155,000 people who have died from the disease in just five months.

"The U.S. has so many deaths," Acosta said.

"Hold it!" Trump replied.

"So many countries around the world..."

"Fake news CNN," he said. "Hold it. We have done a great job in this country. We haven't been given enough -- not me, Vice President Pence, the task force -- have not been given the kind of credit."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Top Trump advisor attacks Coronavirus Task Force’s Adm. Giroir – so he can push Hydroxychloroquine

Published

on

Trump White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro is attacking the Coronavirus Task Force member in charge of COVID-19 testing. Admiral Brett Giroir over the weekend acknowledged hydroxychloroquine has been proven to be not effective in the fight against the coronavirus, echoing the position of the FDA and the CDC, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Dr. Deborah Birx. Earlier Monday President Donald Trump attacked Dr. Deborah Birx.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image