This evening Clayton Lockett died after the State of Oklahoma botched his execution. Witnesses say that he called out “man” and “something’s wrong,” and writhed and twitched in agony twenty minutes after the procedure began. This was to be the first of a planned double execution, the state’s first since 1937. The execution of Charles Warner, slated for 8pm this evening, has been postponed.
We demand that the state halt all executions and carry out an independent investigation. The death penalty is clearly untenable and cannot continue. The state of Oklahoma shrouded the process in secrecy and undermined public confidence in our criminal justice system and our democracy by threating to impeach State Supreme Court Judges who originally voted to stay these executions. The government of Oklahoma sacrificed transparency and public accountability in favor of expediency – and the consequence were grotesque and preventable. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and our allies will not be silent.
"We at OK-CADP are saddened and disgusted by tonight’s botched execution,” said Adam Leathers, Co-Chair of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP). “Years from now, Oklahomans will look back at this moment in shame and embarrassment of our leadership."
This night will be a catalyst for those aggrieved and outraged to continue to fight to abolish the death penalty in Oklahoma and every other state in America. While we are deeply saddened by last night’s outcome, we are not intimidated or defeated. Our fight continues for justice.