New Details Released In Lockett Execution Investigation

Thursday, March 19th 2015, 5:39 pm
By: News 9

For the first time since the delayed execution of Clayton Lockett, we know what it was like inside the execution chamber.

Documents of the entire investigation, more than 5,000 pages have been released by the Department of Public Safety. Those documents show leading up to when the execution began, the IV placement was the most difficult task.

But once Lockett began writhing on the table, investigators found that moment was met with panic, uncertainty and even frustration.

Over 5,200 pages of documents and testimony take us inside the prison walls and into the execution chamber, where only a handful of individuals know what was said and done once the curtains closed on the witnesses.

Testimony from an EMT describes "an air of urgency" in the chamber from the very beginning. When the execution began and Lockett began to lift off the table, that's when panic set in.

Prison warden Anita Trammell testified, "I was kind of panicking, thinking, ‘Oh my God. He's coming out of this.'" and that's when she said she knew "something was wrong."

The doctor checked on Lockett and observed the drugs were no longer going into Lockett's veins, but his tissue instead.

Trammel then ordered the blinds to be lowered and immediately stated "get the director on the line."

Trammel asked the doctor whether enough drugs had been absorbed by Lockett's tissue to cause death.

The doctor responded, "How am I supposed to know there's enough drugs absorbed?" Trammel noted the doctor was "pretty frustrated."

While Trammel and DOC Director Robert Patton are on the phone, the doctor and EMT monitored Lockett.

The doctor testified that the warden asked if Lockett could be resuscitated. The doctor said they would "have to take (Lockett) to the ER" and then the doctor said someone responded "we can't do that."

As Lockett's heartbeat weakens, the doctor said others in the room "wanted me to declare him deceased." He responded "until the person is completely pulseless...I am not going to do it."

Moments later Lockett's pulse stopped.

Patton hung up the phone with the warden and the governor's office after a stay was issued.

Director Patton himself testified that it was "the toughest night of my life."

The Supreme Court hearing challenging the constitutionality of Oklahoma's protocol is set for April 29, exactly one year after Lockett's execution.