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Further Info on the Oklahoma Execution

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has given the state's governor this timeline of events in the execution of Clayton Lockett.

The original problem appears to be a lack of easily accessible veins.  We have known all along this is a problem.  State protocols should specify an alternative to intravenous injection.  Where intravenous is specified by statute, the statute should be amended.

The primary problem here appears to be that Oklahoma was insufficiently prepared for the vein problem.  That shouldn't happen.  The condition of an inmate's veins is something that can be checked far in advance of an execution date.  The recent controversies over drug sources do not appear to be an issue here.

Oklahoma still uses the old three-drug method, with a paralytic and potassium chloride.  There is no reason for any state to keep that method.  The sedative-only method is now well-established, and it avoids the problem of any risk of a person being injected with a painful drug while incompletely anesthetized.

Long term, we should get rid of injection and go back to gas, possibly carbon monoxide.

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