Pardon and Parole Board denies clemency for Oklahoma man on death row

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to deny clemency for Clayton Lockett, who confessed to shooting and burying alive a teenager in Perry in 1999.
Oklahoman Modified: February 28, 2014 at 6:30 pm •  Published: March 1, 2014
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The state Pardon and Parole Board on Friday denied an attempt by convicted murderer Clayton Lockett to avoid execution.

Lockett, 38, has been on death row for more than a decade for the 1999 murder of Stephanie Neiman. Neiman and a friend came to visit Bobby Bornt as he was being robbed and beaten in his home in Perry by Lockett and two accomplices.

All three men raped Neiman’s friend and kidnapped both women, as well as Bornt and his infant son. The three men took them to a secluded area in the early morning hours where Lockett shot Neiman twice before an accomplice buried her alive. In his videotaped confession to the crimes, Lockett testified he killed Neiman because he believed she would alert authorities.

Lockett refused to testify at the clemency hearing via video. Officials at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary said he also refused to leave his cell. The board voted 4-1 to deny clemency. He is to receive a lethal injection March 20.

Marc Dreyer, chairman of the parole board, said it was the first time he has seen an inmate refuse to appear at a clemency hearing.

In a letter read by his attorney, David Autry, Lockett expressed distrust of the parole system.

“I have no faith in the integrity of this process,” Lockett wrote. “It is my belief that there is never any genuine consideration of leniency during these proceedings and any decision is predetermined.”

Lockett went on to express his remorse, addressing Neiman’s family directly in the letter, and conveyed a sense of both regret over his crimes and acceptance about his upcoming execution.

“Contrary to the purpose of this proceeding I want you to know that if upon me relinquishing my life you find solace in my death and can one day find the strength to forgive, then I’m okay with this,” Lockett wrote to the Neiman family.

Autry outlined Lockett’s troubled and dysfunctional upbringing, describing how his father would blow marijuana in his face as early as the age of six and his exposure to traumatic sexual abuse.

In his testimony, former District Attorney Mark Gibson, who prosecuted the case, questioned Lockett’s remorse. Gibson recalled the lack of emotion in Lockett’s taped confession and pointed to his repeated misconduct infractions during his incarceration, including several instances of manufacturing weapons.

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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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