Lockett was already a four-time felon when he was convicted by a jury in 2000 of murder, rape, kidnapping, burglary and other charges and received his death penalty sentence. The murder victim was 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman, who came upon Lockett and two accomplices as they were beating a man in front of his 9-month-old son during a robbery.
Neiman and a friend came to the house while the robbery was in progress, and the robbers bound the two women with duct tape and raped Neiman’s friend. The three men then drove all four victims, including the baby, to a remote area, where Lockett shot Neiman with a sawed-off shotgun after she refused to say she wouldn’t report them to police. Lockett then watched as his two accomplices buried her alive.
A spokesman for the United Nations human rights office in Geneva said Lockett’s prolonged execution could amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international human rights law. Rupert Colville said Lockett’s was the second problematic execution in the U.S. this year after Dennis McGuire’s death in Ohio on Jan. 16 with an allegedly untested combination of drugs.
“The apparent cruelty involved in these recent executions simply reinforces the argument that authorities across the United States should impose an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty and work for abolition of this cruel and inhuman practice,” Colville told reporters Friday.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin called on Wednesday for an investigation of Lockett’s execution to be conducted by the state’s Department of Public Safety. She also said she would issue a stay on the execution of Charles Warner, who had been scheduled to be executed two hours after Lockett using the same drug combination.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Capt. George Brown said Friday that the autopsy, being performed in Dallas, is expected to be finished in eight to 12 weeks.