It had been June 3 of 1999 when Lockett and an accomplice, Shawn Mathis, decided to pull off a home invasion robbery when they were surprised by 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman, who had pulled up at the residence to drop off a friend. Stephanie refused to give the pair the keys to her pickup truck. Lockett and Mathis beat Stephanie, then used duct tape to gag her and bind her hands.
The unexpectedly lingering death of Clayton Lockett made me think of another botched execution -- the execution of Sarah Brown in Kansas during the summer of 1993. Two injections of potassium chloride directly into her brain were unsuccessful in causing death. She was then wrapped in a blanket and left unattended for 24 hours before a nurse intervened and said that Sarah should be provided with care. Severely brain damaged, Sarah lost her vision and would never walk or talk. She died five years later, on September 28, 1998.
What crime had Sarah Brown committed that had ended in her being slated for death?
There was no public outcry over Sarah Brown's botched execution. There were no hearings to determine if it was okay to continue to inject potassium chloride into the brains of healthy, viable unborn babies. In fact, when the Attorney General of Kansas decided to address Tiller's post-viability "health of the mother" abortions, it was he, not Tiller, whose career was destroyed.
Because that's how we do things in America. Just as abortion-rights activists who had power and authority in Pennsylvania moved to protect the interests of Kermit Gosnell, abortion-rights activists who had power and authority in Kansas moved to protect the interests of George Tiller.
Clayton Lockett's botched execution will lead to a huge public outcry, a huge public debate, and political wrangling over when and how and why to execute people who have committed a crime and gone through due process. Would that Sarah Brown's botched execution had gotten even a tenth of that attention. But the state-sanctioned killings of children like Sarah will continue as long as we entrust their care to abortion-rights supporters.
Postscript: You can help to change the tide of indifference to the killings of babies like Sarah and the Gosnell victims. Go to GosnellMovie.com and donate any amount -- as little as $1 -- to spread the word that enough is enough. A country that can have compassion for Clayton Lockett can muster a little compassion for babies as well.