death penalty

Executed Oklahoma Man Said Drugs Felt Like His Body Was ‘On Fire’

A news van arrives at the front gate of the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for the scheduled execution of Charles Warner in McAlester, Okla, Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015.
Photo: Sue Ogrocki/AP/Corbis

Oklahoma executed Charles F. Warner Thursday, the first inmate to be killed in the state since April’s botched execution of Clayton Lockett. Warner didn’t thrash or gasp during his 18-minute execution, but he maintained that he did not commit all the crimes he was accused of and said that the injections he received “felt like acid.”

They poked me five times. It hurt. It feels like acid,” Warner said, according to AP reporter Sean Murphy. “I’m sorry for all the pain that was caused. I’m not a monster. I didn’t do everything they said I did. I love people. I love my family. I love Jesus.”

Once the execution began at 7:10 p.m., Warner reportedly said that his “body is on fire,” echoing how some experts have described the drugs used in the injections. But despite these statements, the execution proceeded as planned, and was a sharp contrast to Lockett’s death — which some witnesses said “looked like torture.” Afterwards, Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin said that “justice was served.”

Warner was originally scheduled to be put to death that same night in April, but had his sentence postponed after Lockett seized up in pain during his final minutes. The Supreme Court denied a last effort to stay the execution over concerns about the drugs used for lethal injections.

He was convicted for the 1997 rape and murder of an 11-month-old infant, but her mother spoke out against the death penalty in a video she taped for his defense team. “I don’t see any justice in just sentencing someone to die,” Shonda Waller said. “To me, the justice is in someone living with what they have done to you, your family, and having to live with that for the rest of their life knowing they will never walk out those bars.”

Executed Oklahoma Man Claimed Body Was ‘On Fire’