Botched Execution

I am not sure why they are calling the execution of Clayton Lockett a botched execution. He did, in fact die from the lethal injection given to him. Perhaps they mean that he suffered somewhat before his death. Here is an account from the Associated Press.

A botched execution that used a new drug combination left an Oklahoma inmate writhing and clenching his teeth on the gurney Tuesday, leading prison officials to halt the proceedings before the inmate’s eventual death from a heart attack.

Clayton Lockett, 38, was declared unconscious 10 minutes after the first of the state’s new three-drug lethal injection combination was administered. Three minutes later, though, he began breathing heavily, writhing, clenching his teeth and straining to lift his head off the pillow.

The blinds were eventually lowered to prevent those in the viewing gallery from watching what was happening in the death chamber, and the state’s top prison official eventually called a halt to the proceedings. Lockett died of a heart attack a short time later, the Department of Corrections said.

“It was a horrible thing to witness. This was totally botched,” said Lockett’s attorney, David Autry.

Somehow, I do not find myself greatly upset over the prospect that this man suffered before he died. Does this sound as if I lack compassion? Well, I hope I may be forgiven for not feeling very compassionate towards a convicted murderer. The Associated Press article does not make any reference to the crime that got Mr. Lockett on death row. Fox News does better.

One person who will not weigh in on the merits of Clayton Lockett’s execution is Stephanie Neiman. Clayton Lockett tried to rob a house Miss Neiman was at. She tried to fight him off. He and his accomplices overwhelmed her.

They beat her, bound her with duct tape, taped her mouth shut, shot her, then buried her alive.  Many of those outraged at how Mr. Lockett’s execution played out will, hopefully, pause to reflect on exactly why the state chose to execute him.

Sadly, Stephanie Neiman, is unavailable for comment on the situation.

Dennis Prager likes to say that he who is compassionate to the cruel ultimately will become cruel to the compassionate. Nowhere is this maxim better demonstrated than among many opponents to the death penalty. There are good, logical arguments against the death penalty. There is the possibility of executing an innocent person or racial disparities in sentencing. You can be opposed to the death penalty while admitting that most of the people being executing are despicable. Somehow, that is not enough for many death penalty opponents. They feel a need to make martyrs and victims out of the people on death row. They are portrayed as victims of a horrible injustice.

I once saw a book in our public library which profiled the people on death row in Texas at the time of publication. Each profile showed a stark, black and white photograph of the person in question as well as any art or writing the person had done, and a brief biography highlighting the circumstances of his life that led to him being sent to death row. I think this might be the book, but I am not sure. Somehow, the author of the book did not think it necessary to reveal the crimes committed by any of the prisoners. To the friends and relatives of the victims of these criminals, a book like this must have been life a knife twisting in their heart, reopening the wounds.

I’m sorry but I really do not feel any pity or compassion for these people, unless they were wrongfully convicted.I am less concerned with the suffering of Clayton Lockett before he died than with the suffering of Stephanie Neiman.  Compassion for criminals who have committed terrible crimes really is cruelty to the victims of those crimes.

Enhanced by Zemanta