Autopsy on Botched Execution Reveals IV Problem

Clayton Lockett

The preliminary findings of an independent autopsy of Oklahoma's botched execution were released today.

The findings revealed that an IV was not properly placed in Clayton Lockett's veins during the execution.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph Cohen's autopsy report stated the following findings:

-the presence of skin punctures on the extremities, and right and left femoral areas indicative of needle punctures, injections and/or attempts at vascular access

-the presence of superficial and deep subcutaneous hemorrhages indicative of attempted vascular access for administration of fluids and medications

-the presence of vascular injury indicative of failed vascular catheter access

"The improper placement of the IV used in Mr. Lockett's execution is just one factor that caused his prolonged and painful death," said Megan McCracken, an attorney with the Death Penalty Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law.

"The three-drug protocol that was used exacerbated the pain and suffering that Mr. Lockett faced by needlessly paralyzing him and subjecting him to the pain of potassium chloride. Moreover, the state had no plan for contingencies in the event that the execution did not go as planned, as clearly happened here," she continued.

View the full autopsy report here.