Oklahoma Inmate Tased, Injected in Groin Before Dying
A new letter released today reveals that Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett was Tased earlier in the day and the lethal injection was delivered through a vein in his groin.
The director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections sent the letter to Governor Mary Fallin on Thursday with a complete timeline of the Tuesday's events and his recommendations for future executions.
Clayton Lockett was the first of what was supposed to be two executions on Tuesday. Officials halted the execution about 20 minutes into the process after a ruptured vein prevented all of the lethal drugs from being delivered.
It was the first time Oklahoma had used that combination of drugs. Officials postponed the second execution.
Director Robert Patton recommended a complete review of the execution protocols, an indefinite stay of execution to allow time to revise and learn new protocols, and an independent investigation of Tuesday's events.
According to the letter, at 5:50 a.m. officers had to use a Taser after Lockett refused to be restrained before leaving his cell.
Lockett was taken to the medical ward for pre-execution X-rays and for treatment for a self-included laceration to his right arm.
Prior to entering the execution chamber, Locket refused to eat or meet with his attorneys all day, according to the letter.
Once in the chamber, the only viable vein the phlebotomist could find for the lethal injection was in Lockett's groin.
The execution began at 6:23 p.m., 20 minutes later authorities realized something was wrong and lower the blinds. The doctor and phlebotomist checked the IV. The doctor concluded that the blood vein had collapsed and that the drugs had either absorbed into the tissue, leaked out or both, according to the letter.
The prison warden calls the Department of Corrections director. Their conversation was documented in the letter:
"The director asked the following question, "Have enough drugs been administered to cause death?" The doctor responded, "No." The director asked, "Is another vein available, and if so, are there enough drugs remaining?" The doctor responded, "No" to both questions. The director requested clarifications as to whether enough drugs had been administered to cause death. The doctor responded, "No."
The director calls off the execution at 6:56 p.m. and Lockett was pronounced dead 10 minutes later.
Governor Mary Fallin ordered a review of the execution protocol on Wednesday.
The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's office is conducting Lockett's autopsy.