Clayton D. Lockett has gained international attention for having taken 43 minutes to die in an execution he was sentenced to after being convicted of murder, rape, kidnapping, assault and battery, burglary and robbery. If you read The New York Times, you will see his crimes summarized in 7 brief words in an article that consumes almost a full page: “shooting a woman and burying her alive.” (NYT 5/1/14)
Before we shed more tears over the inhumanity of lethal injections as a death penalty, let’s pay some attention to what Clayton D. Lockett did in 1999 - fifteen years before he was fed, housed, medically treated and given all the attendant rights of a prisoner in Oklahoma; more importantly, fifteen years longer than Stephanie Nieman, the young high school graduate who was his victim was able to live. Lockett and two accomplices attempted to retrieve money they claimed to be owed from the home of another man by tying him up, pistol whipping and beating him. Miss Nieman and another friend who knew the robbery victim were dragged into the house during the course of this assault. Her friend was raped by all three thugs and when Miss Nieman refused to cooperate by handing over car keys, Clayton D. Lockett shot her twice and ordered one of his accomplices to bury her alive. It probably took a good deal longer than 43 minutes for Stephanie Nieman to finally die in her shallow grave. Her name is not mentioned once in the extensive coverage of the NYTimes. Her torture and execution by Clayton D. Lockett in 1999 did not arouse a single comment from the concerned citizens of European countries nor did any of their statements today even whisper her name.
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