US appeals court OKs dismissal of botched execution lawsuit


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the brother of an Oklahoma death row inmate whose botched execution led to a moratorium while the state reconsidered its lethal injection protocols.

Convicted murderer Clayton Lockett was executed on April 29, 2014, in a procedure that took almost an hour instead of the minutes it should have taken. Lockett writhed on the gurney, mumbled and strained to lift his head before he was declared dead 43 minutes after the execution began.

Lockett’s brother, Gary Lockett, sued Republican Gov. Mary Fallin and other officials, saying the execution was “barbaric” and that it violated his brother’s constitutional protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

But the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the lower court correctly ruled that the defendants are exempt from such lawsuits as public officials.

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