UNITED NATIONS, May 2 (UPI) -- Oklahoma’s slipshod execution of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett may have amounted to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” the United Nations’ human rights chief said Friday. Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in Geneva, Switzerland, “the suffering of Clayton Lockett during his execution in Oklahoma on Tuesday may amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment according to human rights law,” and was contrary to the U.S. Constitution’s barring of “cruel and unusual punishment.”
“The U.N. opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances,” he added. Colville also mentioned the execution in Ohio of inmate Dennis McGuire with an allegedly untested combination of pharmaceuticals.
Lockett’s execution, by lethal injection, was neither quick nor painless. The chaotic process left him conscious for some of the process, and thrashing on a gurney in a procedure that lasted two hours until he suffered a heart attack and died.
“The apparent cruelty involved in these recent executions reinforces the argument that authorities across the United States should impose an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty,” Colville added.