December 18, 2014
Texas to execute first prisoner after Oklahoma botched lethal injection
Texas is set to put to death convicted rapist and murderer Robert James Campbell on Tuesday in the first execution in the United States since a botched lethal injection in Oklahoma in April raised questions about capital punishment in the country.
Lawyers for Campbell are seeking a stay, saying the problems in Oklahoma and secrecy surrounding the providers of execution drugs demand a halt to allow for a sober reflection on how the death penalty is carried out.
Texas plans to execute Campbell, 41, at 6 p.m. by a lethal injection of the sedative pentobarbital at its death chamber in Huntsville. He would be the 21st inmate executed this year in the United States.
"The Texas Department of Criminal Justice does not have plans to change its execution protocol based upon the Oklahoma incident," the department said in a statement.
Oklahoma halted the April 29 execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett while it was in progress after what prison officials said was a blown vein that made them unsure if the lethal cocktail was being properly administered.
Lockett, mumbling and in apparent pain on a prison gurney with an IV in his groin, died of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes after the procedure started. The execution was the state's first use of a new three-drug lethal injection mix.