Midday Roundup: Oklahoma investigates execution that went horribly wrong

by Leigh Jones
Posted 4/30/14, 12:03 pm

Botched execution. An Oklahoma inmate scheduled for execution last night began writhing on the gurney shortly after getting the first of three injections in a drug cocktail that should have been lethal. Deciding something had gone wrong, prison officials halted the execution, but Clayton Lockett died 40 minutes later of a heart attack. State officials are now facing tough questions about the efficacy of the drugs used for executions. Drug manufacturers, based mostly oversees, have refused to sell state prison systems the drugs they used to use for lethal injections. Now, death penalty states are experimenting with other drug combinations, often using compounding pharmacies. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued a two-week stay for the other inmate scheduled for execution last night and ordered the Department of Corrections to conduct a thorough investigation into what went wrong.

Space trampoline? A Russian official angry over the sanctions the United States has levied on his country because of its involvement in Ukraine suggested American astronauts might have to find another way to get to the International Space Station (ISS). “I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline,” Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said. NASA relies on Russian spaceships to carry its astronauts into space, paying $60 million per person for the ride. Despite the anger over the U.S. sanctions, analysts say they don’t expect Russia to cut NASA off. After all, the country needs that space taxi fare now more than ever.

Drug resistance. The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that drug-resistant bacteria can now be found in every part of the world. Health experts have been concerned for years about the rise of bacterial infections that can’t be treated with antibiotics. Now that resistance is becoming more widespread, more people will suffer from untreatable, and possibly fatal, diseases. WHO officials blame the rise of “superbugs” on the overuse of antibiotics and anti-bacterial soaps and gels. While the drugs do kill bad bacteria, they make strong bacteria even stronger. They also kill of good bacteria our bodies need for digestion and fighting off disease naturally.

No ID? No problem. A Wisconsin judge struck down that state’s voter ID law yesterday, making it the third such statute to fall to the courts in the last two weeks. A district court judge ruled Wisconsin’s requirement for voters to show a photo ID at the polls violated the Voting Rights Act and the 14th Amendment. A Pennsylvania court on Monday upheld its previous ruling striking down that state’s voter ID law. Last week, an Arkansas court did the same for a similar law.

Fake, after all. The saga of the allegedly ancient, but only recently discovered, papyrus containing writing that refers to Jesus’ “wife” took another turn this week—one sure to chagrin secular scholars. The group of documents that included the “wife” papyrus contained a scrap of the Gospel of John. But it was written in a language that died out several hundred years before carbon dating says the document was created. Experts say if the Gospel of John fragment is a fake, the “wife” papyrus likely is a fake too. The scholar who revealed the allegedly ancient artifacts got them from an anonymous source, which is never a good sign when it comes to authenticity, experts say.

Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the news editor for The World and Everything in It and reports on education for WORLD Digital.

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