It was hard to choose a link for this story, given that it is all over mainstream and independent news outlets. I went with The Guardian because (a) it provided detailed description and (b) they are based outside of the U.S. and have a bit more critical distance.
This is a sad case and I think it is in need of very little critical exegesis — and, certainly, I don’t want to be disrespectful, turning one man’s death into a simple teaching lesson or an example, especially given the privilege that I would be exercising and advertising in doing so.
Instead, I’ll say only a little: This execution, with all of its political intrigues and medical secrecy, fits shockingly neatly in a long history of biomedical experimentation (particularly on black bodies), especially within the prison system (for more on this you might consider: Allen Hornblum’s Acres of Skin (cheap on amazon: http://amzn.to/R1n2GD) or Harriet A. Washington’s Medical Apartheid (also very affordable on amazon: http://amzn.to/1fugZ8Q).
Lockett’s inhumane execution may lead to revision and review of Capital Punishment in the U.S. — one can only hope — but public outcry has to call the state to accountability.