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Second Inmate in Execution Lawsuit Put to Death

16-Jan-2015

Oklahoma death row inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner became known for much more than their crimes when they became the faces of the Oklahoma execution lawsuit that pitted the state's two high courts against each other. The state ruled that the inmates did not have a right to know the source of the drugs that would be used to execute them, and the two men were scheduled to die the same day.

It didn't work out that way, though. Clayton Lockett's execution was horribly botched when an IV line failed during the administration of the lethal injection drugs that were to end his life. Lockett writhed and grimaced, prompting the state to halt the execution. Lockett died of a heart attack nearly 45 minutes after the execution began. The debacle granted Warner a reprieve, again postponing his execution.

Now, despite protests about lethal injection drugs in Oklahoma--and in general following other apparently painful executions--Warner's time has literally run out.

Charles Warner filed a last minute appeal over the use of the drug midazolam in the state's lethal injection protocol. The United States Supreme Court denied his appeal, and Warner was executed last night--the first execution in the state since Lockett's botched execution in April 2014.

Warner was pronounced dead at 7:38 p.m. on Thursday, January 15, 2015. 

Reports say the execution took 18 minutes, and that Warner complained, "It feels like acid," and, "My body is on fire," although he apparently showed no obvious signs of physical distress.

Charles Warner was sent to death row after he was convicted of the violent rape and murder of his roommate's 11-month-old daughter in 1997. Warner was twice convicted of the crime, once in 1999 and again in 2003 after being granted a new trial.

Even until his death, he denied the attack on the baby girl, saying, "I'm not a monster. I didn't do everything they said I did."

During Warner's appeal process and the execution lawsuit, the victim's mother has said that she does not believe the man who killed her daughter should be put to death. Shonda Waller has said that she does not believe in the death penalty, and that putting Warner to death would "dishonor" her child's name. 

In a videotaped statement given at a clemency hearing before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board last January, she said, "I don't see any justice in just sentencing someone to die. To me, the justice is in someone living with what they have done to you, your family, and having to live with that for the rest of their life knowing they will never walk out those bars."

Unfortunately for Warner, the State of Oklahoma does not see eye to eye with his victim's mother. More than 17 years after little Adrianna Waller was murdered, her killer is now dead, too. 



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