POLITICS
05/02/2014 12:48 pm ET Updated May 02, 2014

Obama: There Have Been 'Significant' Problems With The Death Penalty

President Barack Obama acknowledged there have been "significant" problems with the application of the death penalty in the United States.

Obama said he would discuss the death penalty with Attorney General Eric Holder in light of the botched execution of Clayton Lockett, a death row inmate who writhed and clenched his teeth as prison officials tried using a new drug combination for the first time. Obama said he has also directed Holder to investigate use of the death penalty.

"What happened in Oklahoma is deeply troubling," Obama said during a press conference Friday.

Below, more from the AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says the botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate highlights significant problems with the death penalty and he's asking his attorney general for a review.

Obama says he found inmate Clayton Lockett's execution Tuesday "deeply troubling."

Lockett convulsed violently during the execution and tried to lift his head after a doctor declared him unconscious. He later died of an apparent heart attack.

Obama said at a news conference Friday that he believes the death penalty is merited in some cases and that Lockett's crimes were heinous. But he says the penalty's application in the U.S. has problems, including racial bias and the eventual exoneration of some death row inmates.

He says he's asking Attorney General Eric Holder for an analysis of the penalty's application.

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