Oklahoma halts executions for six months following botched procedure

Lethal Injectionsource: Al Jazeera America 
published:8 May 2014

The Oklahoma attorney general’s office agreed on Thursday to halt all executions for six months amid a state investigation into what happened during the botched lethal injection of another inmate last week, according to a filing with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

The move came as Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office said it will not object to a 180-day stay of execution for Charles Warner, who was found guilty of raping and murdering his girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter in 1997, while the investigation into what went wrong during inmate Clayton Lockett’s execution is underway.

Warner was scheduled to be executed last week on the same day that Lockett’s execution, which involved the controversial use of a new drug combination including a sedative that was used for the first time in Oklahoma, went wrong.

Witnesses said that Lockett could be seen writhing, twitching and clenching his teeth on the gurney, leading prison officials to stop the execution process before Locket eventually died 40 minutes after the procedure started from an apparent heart attack — although an autopsy is being conducted to determine his official cause of death.

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9 May 2014