In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.
The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs, based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock out the inmates, one to relax or paralyze them, and a final drug that would stop their hearts.
A Botched Execution And The Death Penalty Now The botched execution in Oklahoma. The President calls it 'deeply troubling.' The UN says a possible violation of international law. Guests Devlin Barrett , Justice Department reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@DevlinBarrett) Peter Neufeld , co-director of the Innocence Project.
Oklahoma's botched execution of Clayton Lockett is prompting other states to question their use of the drug midazolam in lethal injections. The Lockett execution is fueling new calls to re-examine how states put inmates to death.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The execution of a death row inmate in Oklahoma this past week has reignited the debate over the use of lethal injection in this country. According to reporters at the scene, Clayton Lockett writhed in pain after receiving the lethal combination of drugs. He had a heart attack 43 minutes later and died. On Friday, President Obama called the execution, quote, "deeply troubling" and ordered the Department of Justice to review how the death penalty is applied across the country.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
As a criminal justice reporter for The Associated Press, Michael Graczyk has covered hundreds of executions of death row inmates in the state of Texas. This means, of course, that he must be there to witness those deaths.
Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel talk about the death of an inmate behind closed doors after something went wrong in his execution, the governor vetoes House bills after a bond for Capitol repairs fails in that chamber and the state and national Tea Parties are at odd over support for U.S. Senate candidates.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today talking about the death penalty. You might have heard by now about Clayton Lockett. He was convicted of rape and murder in Oklahoma and he was scheduled to die from a lethal injection earlier this week.
Sen. James M. Inhofe doesn't have much sympathy for the man who died after a bungled execution attempt on Tuesday, and doesn't think it should lead to a change in the death penalty. Inhofe, the senior senator from Oklahoma, said more attention should be paid to the suffering of the victim of 38-year-old Clayton Lockett.