Okla. Death Row Inmate Gets 6-Month Stay After Botched Execution

Charles Warner, who was to have been put to death the same day that another inmate’s execution went horribly wrong, gets a reprieve while a probe is conducted.

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Charles Warner

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

An Oklahoma death row inmate has been given a six-month stay of execution while officials investigate how the lethal injection of a different inmate, Clayton Lockett, went horribly wrong, the New York Daily News reports.

Charles Warner was to have been executed the same day as Lockett in what would have been Oklahoma’s first double execution since 1937. But something went wrong during Lockett’s execution, which the state now says is grounds to delay Warner’s while an investigation is conducted.

Lockett’s eventual death was tortuous, authorities say, when one of his veins collapsed during the administration of the lethal injection, which allowed some of the drugs to be absorbed into his tissue while the rest leaked out. According to the Daily News, Lockett showed signs of distress during the procedure, writing on the gurney, gritting his teeth and lifting his head several times.

Lockett was taken out of the death chamber and instead died of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes after the execution had begun.

On Thursday, Oklahoma State Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office filed court documents stating that it wouldn’t object to a 180-day stay of execution for Warner while a probe is underway.

The director of the state’s prison system, Robert Patton, released a report viewed by the Daily News stating that because officials could not find a suitable vein during Lockett’s attempted execution, they placed an intravenous tap at his groin. Once that vein collapsed, Patton said that Lockett didn’t have another viable vein and the state didn’t have another dose of the lethal drugs available.

Read more at the New York Daily News.

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