Lawmakers Say They Won't Abandon Death Penalty
A bungled execution in Oklahoma in which the condemned prisoner writhed and moaned as he received a lethal injection outraged death-penalty opponents, invited court challenges and attracted worldwide attention this week.
But the inmate's agony alone is highly unlikely to change minds about capital punishment in the nation's most active death-penalty states, where lawmakers say there is little political will to move against lethal injections.
Oklahoma Representative Mike Christian is a lawmaker who pushed to have state Supreme Court justices impeached for briefly halting Tuesday's execution. He says he doesn't care whether inmates are executed by injection, electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or "being fed to the lions."
Defense attorneys for death-row inmates hope Tuesday's spectacle provides new evidence to argue that the injections are inhumane and illegal.