Brother Sues Oklahoma|for Botched Execution

     (CN) – Oklahoma’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett left him writhing in agony “as a lab rat” in a “failed medical experiment,” his brother claims in a federal lawsuit.
     Lockett’s brother, Gary Lockett, sued Gov. Mary Fallin, Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton, and State Penitentiary Warden Anita Trammell, and the attending doctor, Johnny Zellmer, in Oklahoma City Federal Court Monday.
     Lockett also sued the unidentified compounding compounding pharmacies and drug manufacturers that provided the execution drugs, and three John Doe Executioners.
     Witnesses to the April 29 execution said Lockett clenched his teeth and strained to lift his head off a pillow as misazolam, one of three replacement execution drugs, was injected.
     A curtain separating the death chamber from witnesses was closed and Lockett died of a heart attack 15 minutes later .
     Lockett was convicted in 2000 of the rape and murder of Stephanie Neiman, 19. He was convicted of shooting her with a sawed-off shotgun and watching two accomplices bury her alive.
     His brother said in the lawsuit that the execution violated “innumerable standards of international law” and “elementary concepts of human decency.”
     “The barbaric spectacle was a disgrace to the people of the United States of America and brought shame on the state of Oklahoma,” the 32-page complaint states. “While cast in the unwitting role of human lab rat for the defendants, Clayton Lockett was administered an untested mixture of drugs that had not previously been used for executions in the United States.”
     Traditionally used execution drugs are becoming scarce as anti-death penalty advocates have pressured large pharmaceutical manufacturers to abandon their production. This has resulted in several states, including Texas and Oklahoma , asking smaller compounding pharmacies to produce substitute execution drugs .
     Prison officials have overhauled their execution procedures to require additional training and visual confirmation of the intravenous line being properly placed.
     A sheet had covered Lockett’s groin where a vein in his leg was tapped, resulting in the IV infiltrating and the drugs pooling in Lockett’s tissue instead.
     Gary Lockett claims Dr. Zellmer “engaged in human medical experimentation in torturing Clayton Lockett to death, in violation of the Eighth Amendment, the Hippocratic Oath, and numerous international treaties and protocols including those established at the Nuremberg Doctor Trials dealing with human experimentation on unwilling prisoners.”
     He claims that Zellmer failed to “quickly and painlessly kill” his brother by inadequately inserting the IV lines.
     “Doctor Johnny Zellmer agreed to kill Clayton Lockett in exchange for money paid to him by the state of Oklahoma,” the complaint states. “He did this while using whatever chemicals provided to him by several of the other defendants and made by the defendant pharmacies named in this complaint.”
     Gary Lockett claims the defendants “tortured” his brother to death “without any scientifically sound expectation that their experiment” kill him without serious pain, needless suffering, or a “lingering death.”
     “This is deliberate indifference to Clayton Lockett’s serious medical need to die quickly and painlessly,” the complaint states.
     Oklahoma officials did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday evening.
     Gary Lockett seeks punitive damages for violations of his brother’s First, Eighth and 14th Amendment rights. He is represented by David Lane with Killmer Lane, Kathryn Stimson, both of Denver, and Mark Henricksen in Oklahoma City.

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