Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., told MSNBC Thursday that he still supports capital punishment despite an Oklahoma inmate’s botched execution this week.
Coburn told “Morning Joe” that the executioners “didn’t have good access” to Clayton Lockett’s circulatory system when he was injected with a controversial drug cocktail Tuesday.
“It was certainly not done appropriately,” said Coburn, a physician himself.
Lockett died 43 minutes later of a heart attack.
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He said this case will lead to “discussion about the death penalty and whether or not that, in and of itself, is appropriate. And, then, whether you can do that humanely.”
"I haven't changed my position," he said of capital punishment. "I think it is a deterrent that does affect and impact people."
He called this incident "an error on the part of individuals to not follow a protocol,” not the drugs that were used in the process.
“The generalization that’s ‘it’s botched time and time again’ really doesn’t hold up,” he argued. “I think if you look statistically as a percentage it’s a very, very small number.”
Coburn says a third-year medical student could properly administer lethal injections.
“If we were perfect at everything, you all wouldn’t be on TV and I wouldn’t be here,” he concluded.