Coburn: No change in view on execution

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn (R) said Thursday that the botched execution in his home state earlier this week has not changed his support of the death penalty. 

Coburn, a physician, said the execution Tuesday night was an "unfortunate thing" but maintained the death penalty continues to act as a deterrent for criminals. 

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"I'd say I've given it a lot of thought. I still think it has a deterrent capability," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I don't like it. I wish we put everybody with such a history behind bars, working and doing things that would help them. But I haven't changed my position. I think it is a deterrent that does affect and impact people."

Oklahoma Gov. Marry Fallin (R) ordered a review of the state's procedures after convicted murderer Clayton Lockett appeared to twist in pain after given an injection. Lockett subsequently died of a heart attack. 

Falln delayed another execution that was also scheduled Tuesday night until the review is complete. 

"As a physician I can tell you that they just didn't have good access to his circulatory system," Coburn said. "And drugs that were injected just didn't get into his circulatory system. I don't know the details of it. It is a state issue. They need to handle it. It was certainly not done appropriately and it doesn't seem to be thought out in terms of backup systems."

The White House on Wednesday said the execution fell short of humane standards. And Coburn acknowledged the incident would refresh a debate about the death penalty in general.  

"It is an unfortunate thing but it anytime you are doing anything with a body, things can go wrong, and of course this leads to the discussion about the death penalty and whether or not that, in and of itself, is appropriate and whether you can do that humanely," he said.