The execution of Clayton Lockett

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Guests: Megan McCracken, Michael Mannheimer, Frank Newport

The execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma last week lasted over 43 minutes.  Witnesses in the viewing chamber saw Lockett writhe and groan on the gurney, after he was administered with the sedative midazolam.  The execution was stopped and Clayton Lockett was eventually declared dead of a heart attack.  As states have scrambled to access supplies of death penalty drugs from secret sources, they’ve faced numerous legal challenges.  But the botched death of Clayton Lockett has sparked international consternation.  The White House has weighed in, decrying it as inhumane.  It raises questions about whether the lethal injection continues to satisfy Eighth Amendment protections against “cruel and unusual punishments”.  We’ll discuss the lethal injection and the legal debate around the death penalty with MEGAN MCCRACKEN, Eighth Amendment Resource Counsel at University of California Berkeley’s Death Penalty Clinic, and MICHAEL MANNHEIMER, Visiting Professor at Penn State University’s Dickinson College of Law.  We’ll also dissect the current state of public opinion on capital punishment with Editor in Chief of Gallup, FRANK NEWPORT.

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