A preliminary report from an independent autopsy says the Oklahoma execution team failed to set a properly functioning IV in Clayton Lockett’s femoral vein.
The autopsy was conducted by forensic pathologist Dr. Joseph I. Cohen, M.D.
Dr. Cohen’s report says the execution team’s attempts to insert the IV perforated the femoral vein.
The Cohen says, “Despite the excellent condition of Mr. Lockett’s veins, the execution team made numerous failed attempts to set an IV, eventually setting an improperly placed and ineffective IV in Mr. Lockett’s femoral vein.
The physician doesn’t believe that dehydration could have played a role in compromising venous access.
Lockett had refused to eat and drink earlier in the day.
Dr. Cohen was hired by attorneys for Oklahoma death row inmates who question the training of the personnel who performed the execution.
Megan McCracken, an attorney with the Death Penalty Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law, says, “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.”