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Execution goes awry in Oklahoma

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Clayton Lockett.— PHOTO: AP
Clayton Lockett.— PHOTO: AP

An American murderer died of a heart attack on Tuesday more than 40 minutes after his execution was halted due to a botched lethal injection, leading Oklahoma to postpone the execution of a second inmate.

Convicted murderer and rapist Clayton Lockett was administered a new, untested three-drug protocol that included a sedative, an anaesthetic and a lethal dose of potassium chloride in what would have been the central state’s first double execution in 80 years.

But Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton ordered the execution of Lockett stopped about three or four minutes after the start of the injection at 6.23 p.m. (2323 GMT), citing a “vein failure,” a prisons spokesman said.

Lockett died of a “massive heart attack” at 7.06 p.m. after receiving all three drugs, spokesman Jerry Massie said.

Even though he was administered the injection, “the drugs didn’t go into the system,” the spokesman added.

Mr. Patton then immediately ordered a 14-day delay to the execution of Charles Warner, who had been set to be executed two hours later.

Oklahoma had previously postponed the two executions in March because of a shortage of lethal injection drugs. — AFP


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