Joint Statement by
Jeffrey Robinson, for the Board of Directors of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
StandDown Texas Project
(4/30/14—Washington DC and Oklahoma City)
On Tuesday, April 29, 2014 Clayton Lockett died after the State of Oklahoma botched his execution. Witnesses say that he writhed and twitched in agony throughout the execution. This was to be the first of a planned double execution, the state’s first since 1937. The execution of Charles Warner, slated to occur two hours later, has been postponed for 14 days.
We demand that the state halt all executions until an independent third-party can carry out an investigation with full transparency. The death penalty is clearly untenable and cannot continue. The state of Oklahoma shrouded the entire execution process in secrecy and undermined public confidence in our criminal justice system and our democracy by threating to impeach the Oklahoma Supreme Court Judges who voted to stay the executions. The government of Oklahoma sacrificed transparency and public accountability in favor of expediency – and the consequences were grotesque and preventable. The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, and our allies will not be silent.
“We at OK-CADP are saddened and disgusted by Clayton Lockett’s botched execution, and we call for an independent investigation, not by the Department of Corrections, into what went wrong” said Adam Leathers, Co-Chair of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (OK-CADP). “Years from now, Oklahomans will look back at this moment in shame and embarrassment of our leadership.”
The execution of Clayton Lockett will be a catalyst for those of us who aggrieved and outraged to continue to fight to abolish the death penalty in Oklahoma and every other state in America. While we are deeply saddened by the outcome, we are not intimidated or defeated. Our fight continues for justice.