McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 30, 2014

DOC meets on botched execution

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — The Oklahoma Department of Corrections called a meeting Wednesday to review execution procedures and try to determine what happened in the execution-gone-wrong of convicted killer Clayton Lockett on Tuesday at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

DOC officials said Lockett died of a heart attack after officials halted his execution approximately 20 minutes into the procedure.

DOC officials planned to meet at the state DOC headquarters in Oklahoma City. Among those who were expected to attend were Oklahoma DOC Director Robert Patton and DOC Public Information Officer Jerry Massie.

Oklahoma State Penitentiary Warden Anita Trammell was also believed to be headed to Oklahoma City today, although DOC officials would not confirm whether she was attending the meeting.

In the wake of the bungled execution, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin asked the DOC to review what happened.

“I have asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening’s execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett,” Fallin said in a statement issued through her office Tuesday night.

Fallin also issued an executive order for a 14-day stay of execution for inmate Charles Edward Warner, who had also been scheduled to be executed Tuesday night, two hours after Lockett.

Meanwhile, McAlester Police Chief Gary Wansick and Det. Sgt. Chris Morris said there were no problems reported outside OSP on Tuesday night. Both said they were not aware of any anti death penalty demonstrators outside the facility. Organized efforts had been planned instead in Oklahoma City.

Wansick said he had asked McAlester Police Department Shift Capt. Gary Read to keep an eye on the situation outside the OSP gates, but no problems were reported. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol provided security, he said.

Morris said he had been at the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Department, which is near the OSP gates, on an unrelated matter around 6 p.m. Tuesday, and he said he saw no demonstrators outside the prison.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.