Opinion: My Fellow Conservatives Are Turning Against the Death Penalty

Oklahoma is back to killing prisoners. Two weeks ago, the state executedJames Coddington, the first of 25 death row inmates Oklahoma plans to put to death through 2024, despite a dark and chilling history when it comes to the death penalty.

In 2014, Clayton Lockett wasn’t fully sedated before his lethal ejection, which led to him to regaining consciousness during the procedure and experiencing sharp pain before his death. In 2015, Charles Warner cried out, “My body is on fire!” as he was executed by lethal injection. Officials later revealed one of the drugs used in the execution was not authorized by the state’s protocol.

Following these botched executions, state officials instituted a moratorium on the death penalty. An independent bipartisan commission established to review Oklahoma’s death penalty identified 46 areas of serious concern for which the commission made recommendations. The head of the state’s Department of Corrections bemoaned “the lack of total transparency” leading to the botched executions of Lockett and Warner and concluded that lethal injection was no longer viable.

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