Oklahoma City–In response to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has issued the below statements and is immediately calling for a full and open investigation into the execution. The ACLU of Oklahoma is also calling for an immediate moratorium on all executions pending the outcome of this investigation and for full and complete transparency regarding the execution process in Oklahoma.
The following is attributable to Ryan Kiesel, Executive Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:
“In Oklahoma’s haste to conduct a science experiment on two men behind a veil of secrecy, our state has disgraced itself before the nation and world. The greatest power any government has over an individual is to take that person’s life. More than any other power, the exercise of the power to kill must be accompanied by due process and transparency. This evening we saw what happens when we allow the government to act in secret at its most powerful moment and the consequences of trading due process for political posturing. This is not about whether these two men are guilty; that is not in dispute. Rather, it comes down to whether we trust the government enough to allow it to kill its citizens, even guilty ones, in a secret process.”
The following is attributable to Brady Henderson, Legal Director, ACLU of Oklahoma:
“We hope that courts will reconsider whether transparency about the drugs used in executions is required as a matter of law. After tonight, there’s no speculation needed to appreciate that there are fundamental failures in our execution process. It is important to remember that the State of Oklahoma continues to deny relatively simple requests from condemned men to find out about the drugs that will be used to kill them. There are serious concerns about the lethal injection process in light of more and more botched executions conducted with questionable drugs from questionable sources, and an Oklahoma law now bars inmates (and everybody else) from finding out important information needed to ensure compliance with the Constitution. In other words, it puts a veil of secrecy over one of the most grave functions of state government–killing its own citizens. If we are to have executions at all, they must not be conducted like hastily thrown together human science experiments.”