Wednesday, April 30, 2014
A Simple Solution To Prevent More Botched Executions
Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner are in the news today, and the recipients of a great deal of media sympathy. Both were on death row in Oklahoma and had been sentenced to execution by lethal injection.
In Lockett's case, something apparently went wrong with the chemical concoction and instead of an instant, painless death. Lockett writhed in pain for about 20 minutes before dying of a heart attack. Warner's execution was postponed.
Aside from the media outrage, there's of course talk of lawsuits.
But it's interesting to look at this in context.
Warner got the death penalty because he was convicted in 1999 of raping and murdering an 11-month-old child, the daughter of Warner’s live in girlfriend. Aside from being raped, the child suffered a six-inch skull fracture, a broken jaw, three broken ribs, bruised lungs and a lacerated liver and spleen. He spent almost 15 years gaming the system, a lot longer than his victim was allowed to live.
And Lockett? Fifteen years ago, in 1999 Lockett, a career criminal and two associates went to the home of one Bobby Lee Bornt, either to collect a $20 debt or simply with robbery on their minds. They tied up Bornt, beat him severely in front of his 9-month old son.
While they were at it, Stephanie Neiman, 18, who had just graduated high school two weeks ago dropped off her friend,Summer Bradshaw at the house.
The trio beat and raped Stephanie and her friend multiple times after covering their mouths with duct tape, and then drove the four victims to a remote location. Stephanie was shot twice with a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun and then buried while she was still alive. She was killed because she was white, because she refused not to say she wouldn't call the police or because Bornt and Summer were parents of a child, depending on whom you believe.
I'm not sure how long it took Stephanie Neiman to die..maybe 20 minutes? Exactly the time it took Clayton Lockett to die in agony? I like to think so, as I reflect on the fact that G-d has an infinite sense of justice.
As far as the drug cocktail goes, the problem may have been the drugs or a burst vein. Apparently the old, proven formulas are difficult to obtain these days, since many of the countries in Europe that manufacture them have refused to export them for the purpose of lethal injections.
Well, I can see that. And certainly, there's nothing good about using experimental drug cocktails where things can go wrong. Thankfully, there's a simple, easy solution to make sure nothing like this happens again: