OKLAHOMA CITY — Rep. Joe Dorman called on Thursday for a truly independent investigation into the botched execution of Clayton Lockett.

Lockett writhed in pain on a gurney on April 29 before the execution was stopped. He later died of a heart attack, according to corrections officials.

Department of Corrections records indicate that the drugs administered through an IV in his leg either leaked out, absorbed into his tissue, or both.

Gov. Mary Fallin ordered Public Safety Commissioner Michael Thompson to investigate why the execution went wrong.

Fallin appointed him as commissioner. He also witnessed the execution and formerly worked for the Department of Corrections.

"No matter how you look at it, Commissioner Michael Thompson can't be an impartial witness and investigator," said Dorman, D-Rush Springs, who is running against Fallin in her bid for re-election.

Dorman recommended that a blue ribbon panel be formed under the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. However, that agency is also part of the executive branch, and Fallin appoints its governing board.

"Mary Fallin's actions and inactions are inviting a federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, and she alone is setting back the use of capital punishment nationwide for decades," Dorman said. "Gov. Fallin, this is your administration, but it is still our state."

Alex Weintz, a Fallin spokesman, said Thompson is more than capable of overseeing a thorough and unbiased review.

The review process has already begun, and Dorman's proposal would disrupt it, Weintz said.

"His calls are both late and politically motivated," Weintz said. "The governor takes her role in the criminal justice system seriously and is not going to join Rep. Dorman in trying to make the execution process a campaign issue or a forum to attack the death penalty in Oklahoma."

Dorman said he supports the death penalty.

Lockett was sentenced to die for the murder of Stephanie Neiman, 19, of Perry in 1999.

Barbara Hoberock 405-528-2465

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