Autopsy: Lethal Injection Killed Man In Oklahoma’s Botched Execution

Broader review of Oklahoma’s execution procedures ordered after Clayton Lockett’s botched execution also coming to a close, with a report expected in the next week, officials say.

AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, File

WASHINGTON — Clayton Lockett, the inmate who died in Oklahoma’s botched April execution, died from “judicial execution by lethal injection,” according to the results of an autopsy ordered by the state’s governor.

The broader review of the state’s execution procedures also is coming to a close, according to the state’s director of the Department of Public Safety, with a report expected on the findings in the next week.

Lockett’s execution began as planned on April 29, at 6:23 p.m. CT. After having been declared unconscious, however, he reportedly began moving and officials halted the execution procedure and eventually lowered the blinds, preventing the witnesses from seeing the remainder of the execution. Lockett was pronounced dead at 7:06 p.m. CT.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections Director Robert Patton said at the time that Lockett died of a “massive heart attack.” The autopsy, conducted by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences at Dallas, was ordered by Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin as part of the review of the execution and execution procedures that she called for the day after Lockett’s botched execution.

Oklahoma’s commission of the Department of Public Safety, Michael Thompson, also announced that investigators are “finalizing recommendations” regarding the state’s execution procedures after having conducted “well over one hundred interviews” and reviewed other evidence, including the autopsy report.

The report’s results will be summarized in a report to be made public and a news conference to discuss those findings will be held next week, per the Department of Public Safety.

Update at 5:12 p.m.:

Andrew Cohen / Via Twitter: @CBSAndrew

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
Contact Chris Geidner at
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