Lockett, scheduled to die by lethal injection, eventually died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the procedure began, with Oklahoma prison officials improvising the combination of drugs used in the procedure. The death penalty is banned in all European Union countries, and European pharmaceutical companies have stopped manufacturing drugs involved in the death penalty process.
The British Foreign Office said it opposed the death penalty “in all circumstances as a matter of principle.” And French Foreign Ministry spokesman Vincent Floréani suggested Oklahoma “establish a moratorium with a view to abolishing this punishment, as many other states in the United States have done.”
European conservatives and liberals agreed executions were unacceptable, the gruesome nature of Lockett’s underscoring and reinforcing their point. Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, a member of the Spanish Parliament, noted that “botched or not … executions are unacceptable.”
The BBC's website presented over 1,000 comments from readers on the Oklahoma execution, many expressing sympathy for Lockett’s victim, who was shot and then buried alive.
A Twitter message said, “How could Oklahoma botch an execution? If there’s one thing I would expect Americans to know how to do by now, it’s kill somebody.”