Not Enough Drugs Entered Inmate’s Veins in Botched Okla. Execution

A collapsed vein caused the drugs administered via injection to leak out and/or to be absorbed by body tissue, officials say.  

Clayton Lockett
Clayton Lockett

Updated Friday, May 2, 2014, 2 p.m. EDT: President Barack Obama called the botched exeuction “deeply troubling” while at a White House press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NBC News reports.  

Obama said that the mishandled execution raised “significant questions about how the death penalty is being applied” in the nation, adding that he planned to discuss the problems surrounding the issue—which include lethal injection itself, racial bias and inconsistent application of capital punishment—with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, NBC notes. 


The botched Oklahoma execution that still cost an inmate his life failed because of a collapsed vein that allowed the injected lethal cocktail to either be absorbed into his tissue or leak out instead of going directly into his bloodstream, the Associated Press reports

According to another report by the AP, it took prison officials 51 minutes to find convicted felon Clayton Lockett’s vein. They were unable to find one in his arms, feet or neck and so ultimately decided to insert an IV through Lockett’s groin.