The United Nations human rights office on Friday condemned the bungled and chaotic execution of an Oklahoma death-row inmate, which left him thrashing on the gurney during a chaotic process that lasted nearly two hours.
A spokesman for the UN high commissioner for human rights in Geneva said that the process to which Clayton Lockett was subjected on Tuesday may have amounted to "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" under international human rights law, and may have violated the US constitution.
Barack Obama admitted on Friday that the manner of Lockett's execution was "deeply troubling" and said he had asked the US attorney general, Eric Holder, to provide a review of the issues raised by it. "I do think as a society we have to ask ourselves some difficult questions," he said.
A timeline published by the state of Oklahoma on Thursday showed that medical staff could not find a suitable vein on any of his limbs in which to inject the lethal drugs intended to kill him, and had to use his groin instead, which they covered, to prevent that area of his body from being seen by witnesses.