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Obama troubled by botched Oklahoma execution

May 2, 2014 GMT
President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Friday, May 2, 2014, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. Obama and Merkel are putting on a display of trans-Atlantic unity against an assertive Russia, even as sanctions imposed by Western allies seem to be doing little to change Russian President Vladimir Putin's reasoning on Ukraine. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
President Barack Obama answers a question during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Friday, May 2, 2014, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. Obama and Merkel are putting on a display of trans-Atlantic unity against an assertive Russia, even as sanctions imposed by Western allies seem to be doing little to change Russian President Vladimir Putin's reasoning on Ukraine. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

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.

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