White House says Oklahoma execution fell short of humane standard

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Wednesday a botched execution in Oklahoma fell short of a standard that the death penalty be carried out humanely.

White House spokesman Jay Carney, at his daily news briefing, was asked about the death of Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett.

Lockett died on Tuesday of a heart attack after a doctor ordered a halt to his execution amid signs the lethal injection he was given was not working properly at the state's death chamber in McAlester.

Carney said President Barack Obama believes the death penalty does little to deter crime but that some crimes are so heinous that executions are merited.

Lockett was convicted of first-degree murder, rape, kidnapping and robbery for a 1999 crime spree with two co-defendants. Carney said Lockett's crimes were horrifically heinous.

Obama believes the death penalty must be carried out humanely, "and I think everyone would recognize that this case fell short of that standard," Carney said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Bernadette Baum)