A Brief History of Botched Executions in America
Illustration for gawker
"Convulsions, moaning, coughing, gasping: these are words commonly used to describe the last moments of these killers. It's a hard business to kill healthy human beings, in the end, no matter how well you scrub the room, and how expertly the catheter is inserted. And there is an important symbolism in the way that when these things go wrong, as they did with Lockett, the authorities close the blinds and try to hide the actual suffering from view."