All Executions Fall Short of Humane Standards: What’s Horrifying About Oklahoma’s Botched Execution.

Creative Commons copyright T Woodard (flickr)

The botched execution of Clayton D. Lockett is horrifying.

Wait, that’s not quite right.

The execution of Clayton D. Lockett is horrifying.

The state-sanctioned murder of anyone is horrifying.

The White House said today that this particular execution fell short of humane standards.

In truth, however, what was inhumane on Tuesday night had nothing to do with him feeling his death and execution.

The inhumane part of it is that the state was killing him in the first place.

The death penalty is inhumane. Full stop.

What is cruel and unusual is not this cocktail of drugs. What is cruel and unusual is the killing of human beings by the state.

My prayer is that those who witnessed this horrifying act will realize it was not that they saw the pain in his execution, but simply that they saw the state kill him.


About David R. Henson

David Henson received his Master of Arts from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, after receiving a Lilly Grant for religious education for journalists. He ordained in the Episcopal Church as a priest. He is a father of two young sons and the husband of a medical school student.