Legal experts consider the botched execution in Oklahoma

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

The botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate has people talking about the death penalty and what exactly constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Clayton Lockett, 38, suffered from a ruptured vein and finally died of a heart attack on Tuesday. The botched execution has groups like the American Civil Liberties Union looking at the death penalty and considering appropriate actions.

The death penalty by means of lethal injection follows the rules of law in 32 states in the US. Governor Mary Fallin told Reuters, "I have asked the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of Oklahoma's execution procedures to determine what happened and why during this evening's execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett."

Legal scholars have begun to weigh in on the matter. According to the Eighth Amendment, it is prohibited to inflict pain to torture or punish an inmate.

Jen Moreno, staff attorney at the Berkeley School of Law Death Penalty Clinic, said there are clear risks when the death penalty is involved. She told the The Associated Press, "To say that they're isolated incidents is mischaracterizing them, and what they really are is foreseeable consequences of using an inherently dangerous procedure."



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