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Many questions remain unanswered after Tuesday's execution in McAlester

The state Corrections Department released a timeline of events for Tuesday’s execution, but did not include who made the final call to proceed with the lethal injection of Clayton Derrell Lockett, despite having only one usable vein.
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: May 4, 2014

Oklahoma was the first state to pass a law allowing lethal injection with the three-drug cocktail, and the state performed the first lethal injection in the United States in 1990.

The Oklahoman reached out to Gov. Mary Fallin’s office to ask if the governor was informed there was only one IV in place and no contingency before the execution began, but that question was deferred to the state Corrections Department and state Public Safety Department Commissioner Michael Thompson, who also witnessed Lockett’s execution.

The Oklahoman sent this and a series of other questions to the state Corrections Department.

A spokesman for Thompson replied by email, saying, “I will respectfully decline to answer detailed questions during the course of the investigation. Please allow time for our team to complete their review and we may revisit these questions upon completion.”

Dieter said no matter what the state’s investigation shows, the first drug used, Midazolam, remains untested. He added it hasn’t been determined if, even with a good vein, Oklahoma knows how to use it to carry out an execution.

“You can’t call that a successful experiment,” Dieter said.

by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch he went on to cover the Oklahoma Senate for eCapitol before joining the...
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