"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Monday, October 12, 2015

Acetate Gate: What’s An Executioner to Do?

aNewDomain — Oklahoma inmate Charles Warner, 47, said his “body was on fire” after executioners used the wrong drug cocktail to execute him, according to an autopsy report released yesterday by the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Oklahoma falls again under the searing glare of the national spotlight over lack of transparency and for shrouding executioner-providers following the international spectacle of messed-up executions — now focusing on the maladministration of the three-drug series in Warner’s execution of the controversial sedative, Midazolam, the delivery of a paralytic, and the remaining drug supposed to be potassium chloride to stop the heart.

Instead of the required potassium chloride, however, as required by the state’s protocol to induce cardiac arrest, the autopsy report prepared a day after Warner’s execution reveals that the wrong drug was used to kill Warner.

It was potassium acetate — the same drug at the center of Richard Glossip’s eleventh-hour stay last week by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin.

The confusion appears to have occurred because the syringes were marked as potassium chloride but the vials were listed as “single dose Potassium Acetate Injection” which absorbs at a slower rate than the chloride form in the potassium pharmacological family. Nevertheless, the state is obliged to investigate the reasons the chemical provider — who remains anonymous — supplied the state with potassium acetate instead of the potassium chloride mandated by state law.

In any event, Warner was scheduled for execution on the same evening as Clayton D. Lockett.

After Lockett’s death, a report found that a phlebotomist failed to properly insert an IV line to inject the lethal cocktail of drugs into Lockett’s veins. Instead, the misdirected cocktail breached into other tissue and Lockett eventually died of cardiac arrest following 40 minutes of what appeared to be writhing pain.

Source: ANewDomain, Jim Kelly, October 12, 2015

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