The Norman Transcript

Opinion

May 10, 2014

Execution stays warranted

NORMAN — The six-month stay of execution for Charles Warner will give Oklahoma time to sort out what went wrong in last week’s botched lethal injection of Clayton Lockett.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt did not object to the request made by Mr. Warner’s attorneys. He was scheduled to die just hours after Mr. Lockett. It would have been the first double-execution since 1937.

Gov. Mary Fallin has asked for a temporary hold on all executions.

She has taken a beating in the national press over the botched death penalty. She didn’t respond directly to newspaper editorials but instead reminded the public of Mr. Lockett’s crime and asked that his victims be remembered.

Mr. Warner’s execution was quickly put on hold as investigators looked into why Lockett’s death was “prolonged,” as Governor Mary Fallin called it in her monthly newspaper column.

Death penalty opponents are using the occasion to point out the need to abolish all executions. We’ve not seen a huge outcry in the state, no doubt due to the heinousness of both men’s crimes.

The state Department of Public Safety is conducting the investigation. Before it’s all said and done, we expect the federal government to launch its own investigation into the state’s method of execution.

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