McALESTER, Okla. — Oklahoma death row inmate, Clayton D. Lockett, lived the last 43 minutes of his life convulsing after taking a lethal injection Tuesday according KFOR-TV. He finally died of a heart attack. Afterwards, the state halted execution for another inmate which was scheduled that same day.
You may be wondering if Oklahoma was using the same drugs Mississippi uses for executions. The first drug was not. Oklahoma started the procedure off with an injection of midazolam, which is the first time they have ever done that. Mississippi uses pentobarbital. However, the failure in the execution was not because of the drug, but vein failure after the injection.
The other two drugs used in the procedure were the same, vecuronium bromide which renders the prisoner unconscious and potassium chloride which stops the lungs and heart.
The big question now is, do botched executions fall under cruel and unusual punishment? If so, it would be a violation of the eighth amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Currently in Mississippi, there is a lawsuit against the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) challenging the integrity of Mississippi’s execution drugs. The drugs are supplied by Brister’s H.W. Compounding pharmacy in Grenada. Lawyers are saying that since the drugs are locally mixed, MDOC cannot prove they are not counterfeit, contaminated, or expired. They want a judge to bar executions until that is proven.