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Reactions to Tuesday's botched execution

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LAWTON, Okla._Governor Mary Fallin is ordering an independent review of the state's procedures after last night's botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

The state was using a brand new protocol that had sparked a legal fight on behalf of Lockett and another inmate who was also scheduled for execution Tuesday night. Lockett died of an apparent heart attack some 43 minutes after his execution began. About ten minutes after the first injection, officials declared him unconscious. Lockett then started to move, his chest heaving as he tried to lift his head.

Witnesses said he was convulsing. Officials said the chemicals did not make it into his blood stream properly and halted the process. Lockett eventually died on the gurney and an autopsy is underway. At a press conference Wednesday, Governor Fallin said the state needs to be certain that its procedures and protocols work.

"I expect the review process to be deliberate, to be thorough and it will be the first step in evaluating the state's execution protocols. My office will communicate with the Attorney General's office on any possible additional steps in the future that might need to be taken to allow the review process to be complete before any further executions," stated Governor Fallin.

Charles Warner was the other inmate scheduled to die Tuesday night. Fallin issued a 14-day stay shortly after Lockett's death. Oklahoma Department of Public Safety Commissioner, Michael Thompson, will lead the independent review.

Governor Fallin says it will focus on three things: Lockett's cause of death, if the Department of Corrections followed current protocol and recommendations to improve executions.

Attorney Taylor Stein thought it was kind of ironic on how it happened with all that led up to the planned double execution. He says he doesn't see the state getting rid of the death penalty anytime soon, but a lawsuit against the state is surely on its way.

"He's not the most sympathetic client, not the most sympathetic plaintiff, but he's clearly tortured to death by the State of Oklahoma," said Stein.

Stein says all of the legal procedures before the case have added an interesting twist but also that could have helped this from happening.

"They kept the formula secret and the components of the formula secret. It didn't work, if it came out then their might be some doctor say 'well that's not going to work, or that's going to hurt too much'," said Stein.

That's in the past now, but Stein says this will also affect future executions that are scheduled, and in what seems like a lengthily process.

"Until they can conduct the type of examination, reveal to his lawyers the components of this cocktail are, so they can conduct an examination and bring in experts to testify what were doing is not humane we need to look at another methodology," said Stein.

For those who are for the death penalty, some of the common comments about the botched execution is that it wasn't botched, Lockett died and also why should we care how he died when he didn't care how his victim did.

"OK, but we are civilized. We're not blood thirsty killers. We're not burying people alive or raping babies and killing them. We are a civilized country so when we put somebody to death we want to be certain that it is done in the most humane way," explained Stein.

It's easy to see that Stein is against the death penalty, but he makes some great points about the ramifications of last night's failed execution. One thing is for certain, this is definitely going to be something that is debated on by Oklahoma legislators for awhile.

Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, says he wants his office involved in the investigation into what went wrong. It was his office that was legally responsible for the execution that went to court to keep the drug source secret and worked on the execution protocol. No comment from the Governor's office yet on Pruitt's plans. Meanwhile, in Washington, the White House sounded off on the situation.

"We have a fundamental standard in this country that even when the death penalty is justified it must be carried out humanly and I think everyone would recognized that this case fell short of that standard," said Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is calling for an immediate moratorium on all executions in the state as well as an open investigation into the execution. Democratic State Senator and U.S. Senate hopeful, Connie Johnson, says she will introduce a resolution calling for a one -year hold on the death penalty.

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