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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

  • Execution Chaos: Witness Recounts Botched Killing that Caused Okla. Prisoner’s Fatal Heart Attack


    An Oklahoma death row prisoner has died of a heart attack after a botched execution Tuesday night. Clayton Lockett was injected with an untested cocktail of lethal drugs. After struggling violently on the gurney, doctors halted the killing 13 minutes in, when discovering Lockett was still conscious and trying to speak. Doctors say he suffered a ruptured vein, interrupting the flow of the lethal drugs. About 30 minutes after that point, Lockett apparently died of a heart attack when the drugs had spread through his body. The botched killing forced officials to cancel the execution of another prisoner, Charles Warner. Both Lockett and Warner initially won a stay of execution earlier this month after challenging the secrecy of their execution drugs. But the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed the decision last week after Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin objected and state lawmakers threatened the judges’ removal from the bench. Warner’s execution has now been delayed for 14 days pending a review of execution procedures. We are joined by journalist Ziva Branstetter of Tulsa World, who was one of 12 media witnesses to attend the planned execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

  • Egypt is a Police State: Senior Muslim Brotherhood Member Condemns New Mass Death Sentence for 683


    Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has announced plans to block $650 million in military aid to Egypt after an Egyptian court sentenced to death 683 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the group’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie. Leahy, who chairs the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, described the judicial proceedings as a "sham trial." Leahy’s announcement comes a week after the Obama administration said it would ease the suspension of military aid to Egypt that followed the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last year. In another controversial move, an Egyptian court has banned the April 6 movement, a pro-democracy group that played a key role in the popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011. We get an update on these developments live from Cairo with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. We also speak with Mohamed Soudan, the exiled foreign relations secretary of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

  • ALEC in the News: Oklahoma Punishes Solar Power Users; Wisconsin Voter ID Law Overturned


    Through a shadowy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, the billionaire Koch brothers have helped advance a number of state laws that benefit corporate and right-wing interests. An internal document shows ALEC is tracking 131 bills which, among other issues, seek to roll back renewable energy standards, combat federal coal regulations and tout the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. ALEC’s efforts recently paid off in Oklahoma, where Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a measure allowing utilities to charge customers who generate energy from solar panels or small wind turbines. ALEC’s victory in Oklahoma comes as a federal judge has struck down a voter ID law in Wisconsin, saying it unfairly targeted the poor and people of color. ALEC has been exposed as the secretive powerhouse behind voter ID laws and other right-wing initiatives across the country, thanks largely to the reporting of our guest, Lisa Graves, president of the newly merged The Progressive magazine and the Center for Media and Democracy.