Eight Months After Botched Execution, Oklahoma Gambles with Same Faulty Drug

For Immediate Release

Eight Months After Botched Execution, Oklahoma Gambles with Same Faulty Drug

WASHINGTON - At 7:28 PM CT, the state of Oklahoma executed Charles Warner by lethal injection. This was the first execution in the state since Clayton Lockett’s botched execution in April 2014. Says Cassandra Stubbs, Director of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project:

Despite the public outcry over Clayton Lockett’s horrifically botched execution, Oklahoma has just picked up where it left off. Prison officials used midazolam on Charles Warner, a drug that had failed during Lockett’s execution and that doctors say has no place in lethal injection. In every state that has used it, midazolam has failed to render the prisoner unconscious, and has led to botched and torturous executions. Due to the paralyzing effects of other drugs Warner received tonight, we will never know whether he experienced excruciating pain throughout the execution. What we do know is that Oklahoma’s willingness to risk that pain violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment and international human rights.

For more on the human rights violations, see the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights decision in response to an ACLU petition on Charles Warner's behalf: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/2014_may_20_resolucion_mc_177-14.pdf

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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