Last week death penalty opponents took to the nation’s television, print, and digital media to condemn capital punishment and, specifically to hold up as a martyr for their cause, 38 year old Clayton Lockett (see photo) who, during the course of his lethal injection execution in Oklahoma, apparently had a vein collapse. Mr. Lockett suffered a difficult death, struggling for almost 45 minutes before succumbing to heart failure. What should have been almost instantaneous death took almost an hour. It was a botched execution, an accident. No one should intentionally die that way. No one intended for him to die that way.
Now let’s rewind the clock 15 years. In the Summer of 1999, 19 year old Stephanie Nieman and a girlfriend were on the way to visit a young man. When Stephanie knocked on the door, she didn’t know that Clayton Lockett and others were inside. They took her and her friend. They bound her with duct tape and beat her. They raped her girlfriend repeatedly. They shot Stephanie twice with a shotgun and forced her friends to bury her...still breathing...in a shallow grave. No one should die that way either.
There are those who disagree and may think me a monster for saying this, but the problem is not that we have the death penalty. The problem is we take too long to carry out sentences for people like Clayton Lockett. In a new Huffington Post/YouGov poll, 65 percent of Americans said they support the death penalty for those convicted of murder. You should know that number is up three percent after the Lockett execution. Write and let us know your opinion.
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