ACLU Reacts to Botched Execution
The American Civil Liberties Union has released the following statements after the botched execution in McAlester Tuesday evening:
"In Oklahoma's haste to conduct a science experiment on two men behind a veil of secrecy, our state has disgraced itself before the nation and world," Ryan Kiesel, ACLU executive director said. "The greatest power any government has over an individual is to take that person's life. More than any other power, the exercise of the power to kill must be accompanied by due process and transparency. This evening we saw what happens when we allow the government to act in secret at its most powerful moment and the consequences of trading due process for political posturing. This is not about whether these two men are guilty; that is not in dispute. Rather, it comes down to whether we trust the government enough to allow it to kill its citizens, even guilty ones, in a secret process."
Brady Henderson, legal director of ACLU, had this to say:
"We hope that courts will reconsider whether transparency about the drugs used in executions is required as a matter of law. After tonight, there's no speculation needed to appreciate that there are fundamental failures in our execution process. It is important to remember that the State of Oklahoma continues to deny relatively simple requests from condemned men to find out about the drugs that will be used to kill them. There are serious concerns about the lethal injection process in light of more and more botched executions conducted with questionable drugs from questionable sources, and an Oklahoma law now bars inmates (and everybody else) from finding out important information needed to ensure compliance with the Constitution. In other words, it puts a veil of secrecy over one of the most grave functions of state government--killing its own citizens. If we are to have executions at all, they must not be conducted like hastily thrown together human science experiments."