Lockett was on death row because he had been convicted of first-degree murder, rape and robbery. That’s bad enough, but it gets worse. After shooting 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman in a Kay County, OK home invasion, he watched as two accomplices buried her alive. Nor is Warner exactly chamber of commerce material. He was convicted in the first degree rape and murder of his girlfriend’s 11-month-old daughter. So far as I know, no one has speculated on how long it took these two innocents to die.
“Irony” is a word that has nearly lost its meaning due to common misuse, but it seems to me to be in full play in the case of Lockett’s state-mandated death. Reports of it always label it as a “botched execution.”
Yes, it was handled incorrectly, but it seems to me the true botched executions were those of Lockett and Warner’s victims. If the anti-death penalty folks are expecting a great deal of sympathy for their cause based on the plight of these two illicit “executioners,” it will likely be in short supply.
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