Gov. Perry talks botched Oklahoma execution; 2016

By Greg Clary


WASHINGTON (CNN) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday that while last week’s execution in Oklahoma was clearly botched, there’s no need for sweeping changes in capital punishment laws across the country.

Clayton Lockett, a convicted murderer, died almost 45 minutes after his execution began last week at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester when one of his veins collapsed during the administration of a previously unused combination of lethal injection drugs.

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Witnesses said Lockett was left on the execution table writhing in pain as a doctor tried to find another vein to inject the drugs. He later died of an apparent heart attack.

The incident renewed a debate over the death penalty and led President Barack Obama to order the Justice Department to conduct a review of the drug cocktails used for state executions.

Perry said that while something clearly went terribly wrong with the execution in Oklahoma, that doesn’t mean the system is fouled up nationwide.

The governor said Obama should continue to leave death penalty policies up to the states.

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“He looks for a one-size-fits-all solution centric to Washington, D.C.,” Perry said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“Allow the states, on the issues that aren’t addressed directly by the Constitution, to come up with the solutions.

2016 aspirations?

Perry also talked about his infamous 2012 presidential campaign, during which he was caught in several notable verbal gaffes.

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When asked about a potential 2016 presidential run, Perry seemed to relish the opportunity to try again.

“I think America is a place that believes in second chances. I think that we see more character of an individual by, ‘How do you perform after you fail and you go forward,'” Perry said.