Why the furor over an Oklahoma execution problem?

I’m kinda fuzzy on the whole uproar over the complication in the execution of Clayton Lockett

His death was agonizing and painfull by some accounts

Death Chamber
Death Chamber
The fact that  the lethal injection took longer to take effect than expected is not a problem for me. Am I cold hearted? Some may call it that. But I really don’t see where it causes concern for the execution of a rapist / murderer. The out cry is that this was inhumane or cruel and unusual punishment. Say What?!  Let me refresh your memory here. It’s an EXECUTION. Was it intended to be that? Absolutely! But due to a combination of unusual details, a last struggle with Mr. Lockett and the new lethal cocktail, It took him longer than expected to die. And from some descriptions is was painful and agonizing. But in the end he died. That was the whole point of the EXECUTION.

Now let me get back to my problem with the uproar over his “botched” execution. While all the attention is on the way the execution went “wrong”, you never heard or read about what his crime was. Didn’t get a whole lot on why he was there did you?

Sometimes people forget. Being on Death Row for 10 years kind of blurs peoples memories. But the noteworthy point here is that these prisoners are not on Death Row for shoplifting! They have committed some crime, or crimes, that brought a jury of their peers to deem them so reprehensible as to impose the death penalty.

And since most of us have not heard of Mr. Lockett before now maybe I can paint a picture for you. Here you go….

Stephanie Neiman was proud of her shiny new Chevy truck with the Tasmanian Devil sticker on it and a matching “Tazz” license plate. Her parents had taught the teenager to stand up for “what was her right and for what she believed in.”

Ms. Neiman was dropping off a friend at a Perry residence on June 3, 1999, the same evening Clayton Lockett and two accomplices decided to pull a home invasion robbery there. Ms. Neiman fought Lockett when he tried to take the keys to her truck. The men beat her and used duct tape to bind her hands and cover her mouth.

But things took an even more shocking turn when both women were beaten and Ms Neiman’s friend was raped by Lockett and his two accomplices. The men also beat and kidnapped Bobby Bornt, who lived in the residence, and Bornt’s 9-month-old baby.

At his trial Steve and Susie Neiman asked jurors to give Lockett the death penalty for taking the life of their only child, who had graduated from Perry High School just two weeks before her death.

Lockett later told police “he decided to kill Stephanie because she would not agree to keep quiet,” court records state. Ms. Neiman was forced to watch as Lockett’s accomplice, Shawn Mathis, spent 20 minutes digging a shallow grave in a ditch beside the road. Her friends saw Neiman standing in the ditch and heard a single shot. Lockett returned to the truck because the gun had jammed. He later said he could hear Ms. Neiman pleading, “Oh God, please, please” as he fixed the shotgun. The men could be heard “laughing about how tough Stephanie was” before Lockett shot Ms. Neiman a second time.

“He ordered Mathis to bury her, despite the fact that Mathis informed him Stephanie was still alive.”

Bornt and Neiman’s friend “were threatened that if they told anybody about these events, they too would be murdered,” court records state.

Let me get this list correct. Multiple beatings, rape, kidnapping, attempted execution and burying someone alive. I don’t know about you but this falls into my death by boiling oil category. Since we don’t have that I guess lethal injection is a suitable substitute.

My own feelings here are that death penalties are death penalties. Whether it is by lethal injection, hanging, electrocution or firing squad. None pretty but the results are the same. And I don’t have problem with any of them.

The opposition from rights groups reads like this.

Amnesty International anti-death penalty death campaigner Michael Hayworth said the new cocktail of drugs used by Oklahoma clearly failed to provide the painless death advocates of lethal injection claim.

One interesting response was the one from the White House. Actually it reads out as PRO-DEATH PENALTY! Took me by surprise!

President Obama believes there are some crimes so heinous that the death penalty is warranted, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

“But it’s also the case that we have a fundamental standard in this country that even when the death penalty is justified, it must be carried out humanely. And I think everyone would recognize that this case fell short of that standard,” he said. Read More Here

Mr. Obama never ceases to amaze me. But this is one time I am pleasantly surprised at the response.
All in all I am sure this will rekindle the controversy over capital punishment. But my opinion remains the same as before. I approve of it. The fact that some states still have the death penalty shows that it is still not a global acceptance for it but it will still be an issue. Make your own decision.


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I am an aging American Navy veteran with some very pointed and acidic opinions. Feel free to heed the warning and read on.

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