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Crime & Law Enforcement Issues & Death Penalty/Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin's executive order to execute Clayton Lockett

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QUESTION: Why hasn't Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma been charged with a crime?

Fallin, a Republican, defied an Oklahoma Supreme Court decision in April by issuing an executive order to proceed with the execution of Clayton Lockett, a convicted killer. At issue was whether the State of Oklahoma had the right to conceal from the public the drugs it intended to use to execute Lockett. Oklahoma's Supreme Court said it didn't and issued a stay of the execution. Fallin then issued an executive order to schedule the execution anyway.

That state's high court reversed itself the next day but only after Oklahoma State Representative Michael Christian, also a Republican, threatened to impeach the judges that voted for the stay. Despite the court's reversal, wasn't Fallin's executive order illegal? If so, why hasn't Fallin been charged with defying a court order? Also, Lockett's execution was botched because the people handling the execution had insufficient medical expertise and because the drugs used were untested.

Lockett died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the initial injection. He was writhing in pain most of that time. This strikes me as a form of cruel and unusual punishment which is prohibited under the US Constitution. So, why hasn't Fallin also been charged with violating the US Constitution and with violating a decision made by her state's supreme court?

Here's the full story:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/23/oklahoma-governor-mary-fallin-inmat

ANSWER: Luis:

The Guardian was wrong on all points, as they often are, in regard to the US death penalty

Lockett died because of the lethal injection drugs. It was, wrongly, reported that he died of a heart attack.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed their decision, prior to Lockett's execution(1)

There was nothing illegal about an execution going forward, when all legal restrictions have been removed, which was the case.

I have never heard of a case where the drugs went untested and no such information exists for these drugs, either.

In addition, the US Supreme Court has, repeatedly, ruled that the drug manufacturers can remain confidential, because of security concerns.

Here is the first of several expected reviews of Lockett's execution.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/05/us/05execute-doc.html?emc=edit_th_


Here is my summary, which will change as more information becomes available:

Clayton Lockett: The Case for Execution
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2014/08/clayton-lockett-case-for-execution.html


1) http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/oklahoma-supreme-court-dissolves-execut






---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: You don't seem to have answered my questions. Here they are again: A) Did Mary Fallin break the law by scheduling the execution BEFORE the stay was lifted. B) Did the state of Oklahoma violate the US Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment by using the secret combination of drugs to execute Lockett. Keep in mind, the same drug cocktail was used in Oklahoma in January to execute Michael Lee Wilson who, during the execution, complained that he felt like his whole body was on fire.

Answer
Luis:

My apologies. I misread or was just, otherwise, sloppy. No excuse.

It would only break the law if there was an execution when a stay is in place. Rescheduling an execution is fine, because it is a stay of execution, not a stay on rescheduling an execution.

It is my understanding that there has never been a secret combination of drugs. The drug combination has always been revealed, but the manufacturer has not been.

I know of Wilson's complaints about being on fire but know of no evidence that the drugs used could cause that sensation, other than if they were contaminated, which is why it caused no others stays, based upon that complaint.

I am, currently, doing more research on the burning issue.

Allegedly, the old protocol of drugs could cause that sensation, if an inmate stayed conscious or became conscious throughout the execution process - it was the last of three drugs that, allegedly, could cause that sensation.

I have heard no allegations that the current crop of drugs, under the new protocols could cause such sensation.

A lawsuit was filed regarding getting more information of the pentobarbital, only, re Wilson's complaint. I found no undates for that lawsuit.

Pentobarbital has been used as the sole execution drug by Texas, with no known problems, since July 2012.

It is possible - just speculation -  that he made it up, as a way to slow or stop other executions.

The Dennis McGuire case MIGHT be an example of that. Please review:

The (Imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-imagined-horror-of-dennis-mcguires.htm

also see

Clayton Lockett: The Case for Execution (Oklahoma)
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2014/08/clayton-lockett-case-for-execution.html  

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Dudley Sharp

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Any question specific to the death penalty.

Experience

Mr. Sharp has appeared on ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX, NBC, NPR, PBS, BBC and many other TV and radio networks, on such programs as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, The O'Reilly Factor, Oprah, etc., has been quoted in newspapers throughout the world and is a published author. A former opponent of capital punishment, he has written and granted interviews about, testified on and debated the subject of the death penalty, extensively and internationally. Partial List: --- Guest Lecturer, US Department of State, Senior Seminar, National Foreign Affairs Training Center, Washington DC, March 30, 1999 ---"Equal Treatment and the Death Penalty: A Conference"; Participant, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, November 11, 2002 --- Participant, The Governor's (Illinois) Commission on Capital Punishment. I was asked to present a paper on deterrence and the death penalty. I presented two papers -- one on deterrence and one on innocence issues. 2001 --- "Rethinking the Death Penalty", Nightline, ABCNews, 6/22/00. Interesting discussion with former Florida Supreme Court Justice Kogan, who somehow confused the concept of alleged innocent death row inmates released on appeal with innocent death row inmates executed. http://abcnews.go.com/onair/nightline/transcripts/nl000522_trans.html ---- "The Death Penalty", This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts, ABC News, 6/4/00 Appearance with Illinois Governor George Ryan, discussing moratoriums and innocence issues. --- "Death Penalty Update", The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, 7/30/00 PBS. A review of death penalty issues. --- "Do We Need the Death Penalty? Yes", an essay, The World and I Magazine, September 2002, athttp://www.worldandi.com/public/2002/september/cipropub.html continued below

Organizations
Mr. Sharp is, now, an independent, non affiliated activist Prior to that time, he was Vice President, Political Director, Chairman of the Endorsement Committee and member of the Board of Directors of Justice For All from July 1993, when JFA was founded, through January 2000. He was Resource Director for JFA through 2003. Justice For All is a criminal justice reform organization based in Houston, Texas. In those positions, he was an active participant in every major issue undertaken by JFA, including policy direction, lobbying, victim's assistance and public presentations. He created the process for endorsing political candidates, forming a political endorsement committee, investigating the background of candidates, developing a questionnaire used to explore the candidates true positions on criminal justice and victim's issues resulting, finally, in a committee recommendation for endorsements. He is a death penalty expert who was opposed capital punishment until December 1995. Tulane U., BA Philosophy 1978

Publications
1) Newspapers around the world 2) "Death Penalty Debate", between Eric Zorn, an anti-death penalty columnist with the Chicago Tribune, and Dudley Sharp. April-June, 2000. Visits many of today's major death penalty issues in an in-depth format and is an illustration that assumption, not fact, often guide reporting on this issue. http://www.ericzorn.com/rhubarb/death/ 3) Blogs/websites a) ProDPinNC B) HomicideSurvivors.com c) prodeathpenalty.com Chapters in Books "The Mentally Retarded do not Face Execution", Is The Death Penalty Fair?, Greenhaven Press, Mary Williams editor, 2003 "Innocent People Have Not Been Executed", from Problems of Death, Opposing Viewpoints Series, Greenhaven Press, 2000 "The Death Penalty Should Be Retained", from Capital Punishment, Current Controversies, Greenhaven Press, 2000 "The Death Penalty is Just", Dudley Sharp, p 17-15, also pages 11 & 62, The Death Penalty, Opposing Viewpoints, Thompsaon/Gale 2006 "The Death Penalty", pg 26,31,33, 39, 79, Current Issues, Reference Point Press, 2012

Education/Credentials
continued --- "The Death Penalty", Speaker, Annual meeting of the American Corrections Association, San Antonio, Texas, 1997. Debate between myself and Richard Burr, a well known death penalty defense attorney and anti death penalty activist. --- "Capital punishment is an effective way to protect innocent people", May 27, 2000 - St. Louis Post Dispatch. Many more innocents will be put at risk by not executing. Scroll down about halfway to reach the letter http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Innocence.htm --- "Death on Hold?", Fort Worth Star Telegram, 2/5/00. Why a moratorium on executions is unwarranted. http://www.startelegram.com/news/doc/1047/1:VIEWPOINT2/1:VIEWPOINT20205100.html --- "Bias on the death penalty", Richmond Times Dispatch, 4/23/01, deals with the racial issues. www.timesdispatch.com/MGB5AB8IVLC.html --- "Washington Journal", C-SPAN, 4/19/01. Death penalty moratorium issues, with Jane Henderson of the Quixote Center in Maryland, coordinator of the Equal Justice Project. A great show to view virtually all the false and misleading information put forward by the anti-death penalty movement. --- ABCNews.com, Taking Sides, essay "Exoneration Hype Exaggerated", 5/10/00. A brief essay regarding the absence of journalistic standards when dealing with issues of innocence and the death penalty. It is the second article down. http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/us/TakingSides/takingsides7.html --- "ABA's Proposed Moratorium Relies on Flimsy Facts", The Texas Lawyer, March 16, 1997. An article showing how inaccurate and misleading the American Bar Association was in their foundation in asking for a moratorium on executions. --- "Guilty as Charged", Wall Street Journal, A22, 6/28/00. Co-authored with Dianne Clements, an article about the highly publicized case of executed Texas murderer Gary Graham.

Past/Present Clients
--- Testimony before the Pennsylvania State Senate Judiciary Committee, February 2000. Death Penalty Moratorium legislation -- Alaska Senate Judiciary Committee, Death Penalty Testimony, July 1997. Testimony regarding referendum on the death penalty and other death penalty issues --- Texas Legislature, testimony in both House and Senate regarding death penalty issues and bills.

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