Botched Oklahoma execution could have impact in NC - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Botched Oklahoma execution could have impact in NC

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Clayton Lockett died of an apparent heart attack 43 minutes after he was administered a lethal injection in Oklahoma Tuesday night. Witnesses say he woke up ten minutes after receiving the shot, then later went into convulsions.

Currently the capital punishment in North Carolina is on hold. There are 153 inmates on death row, but no one has been put to death in this state in eight years.

Carrying out the death penalty in the state of North Carolina comes down to two simple words, still waiting.

While a Mecklenburg County jury decided in 2009 that Michael Sherrill receive the death penalty for the 1984 murder of Cynthia Dodson, experts like Cynthia Adcock aren't sure if the sentence will ever be carried out.

Sherrill's was the last person to be sentenced to death in Mecklenburg County.

Adcock teaches constitutional law at the Charlotte school of law and says prosecutors who try capital cases feel as through their hitting a brick wall.

"I'm sure the prosecutors are frustrated, because they have the death sentence", she said. " They've done their job and why can't they carry it out in a constitutional way."

What happened in Oklahoma has been called botched, unfortunate, and could have an in North Carolina.

Defense attorney Norman Butler has managed to keep clients alive who could have been headed to death row.

Last year, the life of convicted killer Andre Hampton was spared by a Mecklenburg County Jury.
Butler feels that Hampton and others who avoid lethal injection can be productive behind prison walls.

Butler told WBTV,"They can show them how to get their life together,to get a job to get an education to try to make something out of themselves."

While the Oklahoma case raises questions about lethal injections, another issue in our state having an impact is the Racial Justice act.

Cynthia Adcock isn't sure whether state lawmakers and the courts will ever work these issues out.

"We could see it unless our legislature does away with it and says let's just focus our attention on other types of punishment," she said.

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