Clayton Lockett's botched execution has renewed the heated debate over the death penalty in the United States.
Nearly one week after an Oklahoma inmate suffered a heart attack from a botched execution, Texas Governor Rick Perry has come out in defense of capital punishment laws.
During an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, Gov. Perry acknowledged the mishandling of Clayton Lockett’s execution by lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
“I don’t know whether it was inhumane or not, but it was botched,” said Perry during his interview with Meet the Press. “There’s an appropriate way to deal with this and obviously something went terribly wrong.” Lockett was on death row after murdering a 19-year-old girl and watching his accomplices bury her alive in 1999.
During administration of the lethal injection drugs, one of Lockett’s veins collapsed and he began to experience a significant amount of pain. While doctors attempted to locate another vein to inject the drug cocktail, Lockett suffered a massive heart attack on the table. According to information obtained by the New York Times, the method of administration was the cause of the execution gone awry, not the drugs themselves. A full review of the execution and procedure has been ordered by the state.
Lockett’s execution has renewed the heated debate over the death penalty in the United States. While acknowledging the need to investigate Lockett’s execution, Gov. Perry believes there is no need for change nationally, as decisions of capital punishment should remain in the power of the states.
“Allow the states, on the issues that aren’t addressed directly by the Constitution, to come up with the solutions,” Perry said.
Perry also commented on the state of the economy and a potential run for the White House in 2016. He appeared open to the suggestion of running for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, even after his ill-fated run for the Oval Office in 2012 put a smudge on his otherwise solid political career.