A convicted murderer who is the next man scheduled to die by lethal injection in Oklahoma has asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for a six-month stay of execution.
Charles Frederick Warner, 46, was scheduled to die April 29, but his execution was stayed just hours beforehand, after a botched execution.
An autopsy and an investigation into what happened that night are underway. State officials say the investigation is likely to take months, and no executions will be performed until they are completed.
Warner’s execution was rescheduled for May 13.
His execution was stayed after the lethal injection of Clayton Derrell Lockett, 38, on the evening of April 29. Minutes after being pronounced unconscious, Lockett rose up from the gurney, his body shuddered, his feet kicked, and he mumbled unintelligibly. He died of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes into the execution.
Attorneys for Lockett and Warner have called for an independent investigation not tied to a state agency “in order to understand exactly what went wrong in Tuesday’s horrific execution, and restore any confidence in the execution process.”
Lockett was sentenced to death for shooting Stephanie Neiman, 19, before having an accomplice bury her alive in 1999.
The execution helped fuel a debate over the use of capital punishment in the United States. Last week, President Barrack Obama called Lockett’s execution “deeply troubling” and announced the U.S. attorney general has been asked to look into problems surrounding the application of the death penalty.
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