CREDIT: Walters Art Museum via Wikipedia
On Tuesday, an Oklahoma inmate named Clayton Lockett was slowly tortured to death after a botched execution left him conscious and convulsing while strapped to a gurney. He eventually died of a heart attack 43 minutes into this ordeal.
Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Christian (R), however, apparently sees no problem with Lockett’s slow and painful death. According to a local news report, Christian said that he doesn’t care if inmates are killed by lethal injection, electrocution, a firing squad, a hanging, the guillotine or “being fed to the lions.”
Christian is also not alone in his willingness to revive discarded methods of execution in order to ensure that state-sponsored killings move forward. States that still execute inmates have had trouble obtaining the drugs they previously used for this purpose due to pharmaceutical companies refusing to sell these drugs to be used in executions and foreign governments restricting their sale. As a result, many states turned to drugs of uncertain quality. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) threatened to use a gas chamber to execute inmates. Wyoming considered resorting to firing squads. And the Virginia House passed a bill that would bring back the electric chair.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court briefly stayed Lockett’s execution, due to uncertainty about the source of the drugs that would be used to kill the Oklahoma inmate. Christian responded to this brief stay by ordering articles of impeachment to be drafted against the justices. The court lifted its stay shortly thereafter.