Comments by an attorney from the Death Penalty Clinic at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law lay out the details of the team’s handling of the execution, which led to the heart attack that eventually killed him:
“The improper placement of the IV used in Mr. Lockett’s execution is just one factor that caused his prolonged and painful death,” said Megan McCracken, an attorney with the Death Penalty Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law. “The three-drug protocol that was used exacerbated the pain and suffering that Mr. Lockett faced by needlessly paralyzing him and subjecting him to the pain of potassium chloride. Moreover, the state had no plan for contingencies in the event that the execution did not go as planned, as clearly happened here.”
There are also concerns of how properly trained personnel were regarding the execution. The Department of Corrections timeline revealed that the IV was applied by a phlebotomist and later confirmed by the state. When a local news outlet questioned the matter, the state reversed their statement and said that an unnamed EMT was the person to apply the femoral vein IV. According to the state’s execution protocol, a physician should have set the IV, and not a phlebotomist.
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