Jeffrey E. Stern reports: On the morning of his execution, Clayton Lockett hid under the covers.
Before a team of correctional officers came to get him at 5:06 a.m., he fashioned a noose out of his sheets. He pulled the blade out of a safety razor and made half-inch-long cuts on his arms. He swallowed a handful of pills that he’d been hoarding. And on April 29, 2014, when the team of officers knocked on the door of his cell in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett — a 38-year-old convicted murderer — pulled a blanket over his head and refused to get up.
The officers left and asked for permission to tase him. While they were gone, Lockett tried to jam the door. They came back, forced their way in, tased him, and dragged him out.
Eleven hours later, at about 5:20 p.m., after a medical examination, X‑rays, eight hours in a holding cell, and a shower, Lockett was brought by a five-member strap-down team into the death chamber. It was a small, clinical-looking room with white walls and a polished floor that reflected the lights overhead. A gurney stood in the center of the room; above it hung a microphone for Lockett’s final words. [Continue reading…]