The White House on Wednesday castigated the execution of Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett — after the injection method employed produced a gruesome result that left the man wildly suffering in his final 10 minutes as a crowd of onlookers stood aghast — saying the execution was not up to the country’s standards of humanity.
Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said on behalf of President Barack Obama that while he believed Lockett’s offenses — he fatally shot a 19-year-old woman, then stood idly by as she was buried alive — merited the death penalty, the commander-in-chief doesn’t consider it an effective crime deterrent, in general.
As we previously reported, Lockett, who sued the state after he was earmarked for a new tri-injection method officials were debuting — clenched his teeth, groaned, tried to talk, and writhed after the first injection.
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Department of Corrections authorities, seeing the gruesome results unfolding, called off the execution, but Lockett suffered a fatal heart attack shortly thereafter.
The incident stirred up an already-ongoing debate revolving around lethal injections and whether the effects of such can be classified as cruel and unusual, which would be unconstitutional.
The late Lockett was sentenced to die in connection with the 1999 death of teen Stephanie Neiman, who he shot, then watched as she was buried alive by two of his associates.