The botched Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett has called our continued use of the death penalty in this country back into question. In many ways, the death penalty is an abhorrent attempt to sate an irrational cultural bloodlust, rooted in vengeance and barbarism and detached from data.
To be sure, Lockett was no angel. He was convicted of first-degree murder for shooting a young woman, Stephanie Neiman, and watching as accomplices buried her alive. And according to The Associated Press: