Texas: Rodney Reed granted indefinite stay of execution

Stay of execution came just hours after parole board unanimously recommended 120-day reprieve
The Texas death row prisoner Rodney Reed was granted a stay of execution on Friday, 5 days before he was scheduled to be put to death for a murder he insists he did not commit.
The Texas court of criminal appeals blocked the execution indefinitely and sent the case back to the trial court in Bastrop county, where Reed was sentenced in 1998 for the murder of Stacey Stites two years earlier.
The court had previously rejected multiple appeals, but Reed’s lawyers argued that fresh evidence bolstered his claim of innocence. 
They said in a statement that they “are extremely relieved and thankful … this opportunity will allow for proper consideration of the powerful and mounting new evidence of Mr Reed’s innocence”.
Millions of people, including a clutch of celebrities, have rallied behind Reed’s cause, helping to generate momentum and public attention as the execution date of 20 November loomed an…

Clayton Lockett didn't die of heart attack, Oklahoma official autopsy shows

The official autopsy report into the death of Clayton Lockett, whose botched execution by Oklahoma sparked a nationwide debate on capital punishment, has revealed that state officials riddled him with puncture marks in an attempt to find a vein into which they could inject lethal drugs.

Though the report does not settle the question of how Lockett died, concluding only that the cause of death was “judicial execution by lethal injection”, it does underline the extraordinary lengths to which the execution team went in trying to kill him. It records evidence of 16 needle puncture marks in locations all over his body – from his upper chest and jugular region, to his upper arm, elbow pit, wrist, groin and foot.

A more complete understanding of what went wrong in the 29 April execution may be given by the official inquiry into what happened that was ordered by Oklahoma’s governor Mary Fallin. The state has indicated that it will release the report within the next few days.

Lockett, 38, was sentenced to death for the 2000 kidnapping, rape and murder of Stephanie Neiman. He was injected with a cocktail of three drugs – midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride – but the execution went badly wrong, and it was 43 minutes before he was pronounced dead.

During that time he was witnessed writhing and groaning on the gurney.

An earlier independent autopsy carried out on Lockett’s body arrived at sharper conclusions than the official report. It noted evidence of failed attempts to insert IVs into the prisoner’s veins despite there being “excellent integrity of peripheral and deep veins for the purpose of achieving venous access”.

The finding that Lockett had “excellent integrity” of his veins was in contradiction to the claim made by state officials that the prisoner’s veins had “exploded” during the procedure. It also suggested possible incompetence on the part of the execution team in inserting the IV lines.

The official autopsy released Tuesday, carried out by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences at Dallas in Texas, records no signs of any rupture in Lockett’s veins. Nor does it find anything to support the state’s initial claim that he died from a heart attack after the botched execution had been called off – Lockett was found to have minor impairments of his heart but no sign of any profound damage to the organ.

The report also notes “extensive” hemorrhaging in the soft tissue under the skin on the right side of his groin. That suggests a possible cause of the complications behind the botched execution – that an IV might have been improperly inserted in his groin leading to the lethal drugs being injected into his flesh rather than into his vascular system.

Source: The Guardian, August 28, 2014

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Georgia executes Ray Jefferson Cromartie

Parents face execution in Singapore for killing their five-year-old son by pouring boiling water over him

Texas: Rodney Reed granted indefinite stay of execution

Texas: Gov. Abbott should grant death row inmate Rodney Reed a reprieve, before it’s too late

Albert Pierrepoint: El Verdugo Más Famoso De Inglaterra

Utah: Death Row Inmate Ron Lafferty Dies Of Natural Causes

Ohio: Judge sentences man to death for killing Garfield Heights siblings in front of their mother

Thailand: American escapee pronounced dead

Georgia: As execution nears, co-defendant says Cromartie likely isn't killer

Jury recommends execution for Marine vet who ambushed and killed 2 Florida police officers