By Heide Brandes
OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – A person trained to draw blood inserted the IV for the botched execution of a convicted murderer in Oklahoma last April, a prison log released on Thursday revealed, but gave no other details of what happened when the procedure went wrong.
The Oklahoma Department of Correction log said a doctor checked twice to see if inmate Clayton Lockett was unconscious during the April 29 execution. It noted that 12 minutes after the lethal injection of chemicals was administered: “blinds lowered in chamber.”
The next entry comes 24 minutes later: “Doctor pronounced offender dead.”
Lockett died, apparently of a heart attack, after prison officials called a halt to the execution because of problems with the IV that prevented the drugs from being properly administered and caused chemicals to spill onto the floor of the death chamber.
Before the curtains were drawn to block the view, witnesses said Lockett appeared to be writhing on the gurney and struggling to lift his head. The execution was widely criticized as cruel and inhumane.
Prompted by the events, activist groups and two newspapers filed a lawsuit on Monday to try to prevent Oklahoma prison officials from blocking what can be seen by witnesses to executions.
Defense attorneys for Lockett ordered an independent autopsy, which showed that the IV had been inserted incorrectly into a vein in his groin, and that the drugs likely leaked into soft tissue instead of directly into his bloodstream.
Lockett, 38, was convicted of first-degree murder, rape, kidnapping and robbery for a 1999 crime spree with two co-defendants. Teenager Stephanie Nieman was shot and buried alive in a shallow grave, where she eventually died.
(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; editing by Gunna Dickson)
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump
Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.
Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.
"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.
"Absolutely," Harris replied.
"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.
"Does it matter?" Harris replied.
"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."
Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate
Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.
From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.
"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.
Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate
Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.
After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.
The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate: