Jeffrey Stern

The Cruel and Unusual Execution of Clayton Lockett

June 2015 | The Atlantic

The Cruel and Unusual Execution of Clayton Lockett

On the morning of his execution, Clayton Lockett hid under the covers.

Before a team of correctional officers came to get him at 5:06 a.m., he fashioned a noose out of his sheets. He pulled the blade out of a safety razor and made half-inch-long cuts on his arms. He swallowed a handful of pills that he’d been hoarding. And on April 29, 2014, when the team of officers knocked on the door of his cell in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett—a 38-year-old convicted murderer—pulled a blanket over his head and refused to get up.

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