BOTCHED EXECUTION: Okla. failure reignites capital punishment de - KMSP-TV

BOTCHED EXECUTION: Okla. failure reignites capital punishment debate

Posted: Updated:

A botched execution in Oklahoma has renewed the debate over the death penalty nationwide -- including in Minnesota, which had its own failure in 1906 before abolishing capital punishment.

William Williams was sentenced to death by hanging for a double murder, but the rope was too long. Deputies literally pulled the rope upward to kill him, but that incident led to years of debate and ultimately resulted in Minnesota opting against the death penalty in 1911.

More than 100 years later, it took 43 minutes for convicted killer Clayton Lockett to die in Oklahoma's execution room.

"Unfortunately, because I've studied what happens when we try to kill people, the botched executions over and over again -- I was saddened but not surprised," Mark Osler, of the University of St. Thomas school of law, told Fox 9 News.

Lockett was strapped to a gurney with a blown vein, and the lethal drugs didn't make it into his system. There were convulsions, and at one point, Lockett said, "Something's wrong."

"He was able to scream out and let us know that he was alive," Ladonna Hollins, Lockett's stepmother, said.

Osler is an outspoken opponent of the death penalty, but Jim Stuedemann argues: What about the victim's family? He contends the focus should be on the teen that Lockett shot and buried alive, 19-year-old Stephanie Nieman.

Stuedemann's own teenage daughter, 18-year-old Jolene Stuedemann, was sexually assaulted, stabbed 30 times and killed in July of 200 at the family's Woodbury home. Her killer, 17-year-old Roman Nose, was sentenced to life in prison, but Stuedemann believes every state should adopt the death penalty. He also told Fox 9 News that although he has "no problem" with Nose spending the rest of his life in a cell, he would rather see him dead.

"What he did to my daughter is unconscionable," he said. "They don't deserve to live, I don't think. I don't think we should have to take care of them."

Yet, although Osler said faith is the primary reason he is against capital punishment, he also cites the cost of death penalty policies -- including the possibility of killing an innocent man and not knowing whether the drugs used today are working properly.

"Because the person can't cry out and move, there's no way to know that the barbiturate has worked," Osler said. "We may just be inducing heart attack without addressing that, which would be torture in most people's mind."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • When hope was gone, parents turned to Google to save baby

    When hope was gone, parents turned to Google to save baby

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:15 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:15:47 GMT

    They were told by multiple doctors that there was no way to save their baby. That's when they took matters into their own hands, and it ended up being the right choice.

    They were told by multiple doctors that there was no way to save their baby. That's when they took matters into their own hands, and it ended up being the right choice.

  • 28 new foods at Minnesota State Fair in 2014

    28 new foods at Minnesota State Fair in 2014

    Wednesday, June 25 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-06-25 18:57:53 GMT
    The Minnesota State Fair is adding 28 new foods to the already massive, artery-clogging list of 500 foods from 300 different vendors. New food include everything from a bacon-wrapped turkey leg and beer gelato to a shrimp dog and chocolate salami.
    The Minnesota State Fair is adding 28 new foods to the already massive, artery-clogging list of 500 foods from 300 different vendors. New food include everything from a bacon-wrapped turkey leg and beer gelato to a shrimp dog and chocolate salami.
  • 'My cousin isn't a terrorist'

    'My cousin isn't a terrorist'

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:32:31 GMT
    State Department officials say a man once known as Douglas McCain, who attended Twin Cities area high schools 15 years ago, died in Syria while fighting for the terror group ISIS over the weekend -- but his cousin tells Fox 9 News she spoke to him just last Friday via Facebook and doesn't believe it.
    State Department officials say a man once known as Douglas McCain, who attended Twin Cities area high schools 15 years ago, died in Syria while fighting for the terror group ISIS over the weekend -- but his cousin tells Fox 9 News she spoke to him just last Friday via Facebook and doesn't believe it.
Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices