WASHINGTON – The White House says the execution of a death row inmate in Oklahoma fell short of the humane standards required when the death penalty is carried out.
Officials halted Clayton Lockett’s execution Tuesday when he convulsed violently and tried to lift his head after a doctor declared him unconscious. He later died of an apparent heart attack.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama believes evidence shows the death penalty doesn’t effectively deter crime. But he said Obama believes some crimes are so heinous that the death penalty is merited.
He said the crimes in Lockett’s case are indisputably heinous.
But Carney said the U.S. has a fundamental standard that the death penalty must be carried out humanely. He says everyone would recognize that this case fell short.