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New Lethal Injection Cocktail Leaves Inmate Writhing; NBA Teams: "We Are One"; Company Says It May Have Found Wreckage of Flight 370; L.A. Clippers Owner Banned from NBA

Aired April 30, 2014 - 06:00   ET



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was some concern at that time that the drugs were not having the effects.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Breaking overnight, an Oklahoma execution goes terribly wrong. The inmate reportedly convulsing, his vein bursting, so now executions in the state halted as there's new debate about the death penalty.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: Big win. The Clippers battle to a playoff victory late last night. Their team owner now suspended for life from the NBA. Players and fans cheering the call but will he give up the team? New details this morning.

MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: The new theory that everybody is talking about. We're going to take you inside the company that says it may have found the wreckage of Flight 370 and it's not where everybody is looking.

CUOMO: Your NEW DAY starts right now.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo, Kate Bolduan, and Michaela Pereira.

CUOMO: Good morning. Welcome to NEW DAY. it's Wednesday, April 30th. 6:00 in the East. And breaking overnight, Oklahoma tries a new drug cocktail to kill an inmate but he winds up writhing and clenching his teeth on the gurney. Now, though officials deny the reports of what happened, the state of Oklahoma delayed a second planned execution and now there is debate about whether the death penalty is OK. The man you're looking at, 38-year-old, Clayton Lockett, he did eventually day they say of an apparent heart attack more than 40 minutes after he was injected. State officials blamed a, quote, vein failure.

CNN justice correspondent Pamela Brown is in Washington with the latest. Good morning, Pamela.

PAMELA BROWN, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning to you, Chris. The inmate who died had been fighting to put a stay on his execution in court over what his attorney called an experimental new drug protocol. Last night, witnesses watched in horror as the inmate convulsed and even seemingly struggled to talk well after he was given the lethal cocktail.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was struggling to talk but those were the words we got out, "Man, I'm not -- and something's wrong."

BROWN (voice-over): They may be the last words spoken by Oklahoma inmate Clayton Locket, uttered during his botched execution. Lockett's vein exploded during the lethal injection, prompting authorities to quickly halt the procedure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was my decision at that time to stop the execution.

BROWN: The first drug in the lethal injection cocktail is supposed to render a person unconscious but witnesses say Lockett was still conscious seven minutes after that first injection. At 16 minutes, he seemingly tried to get up and talk. It was then that prison officials closed the blinds, shutting out the media gathered to witness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We didn't know what was happening on the other side of the blinds. We didn't know if he was still dying or if they were still pumping drugs in him.

BROWN: 43 minutes after the first injection, Lockett died.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The inmate suffered what appears to be a massive heart attack and passed away.

BROWN: Lockett and Charles Warner, the inmate set to be executed after Lockett Tuesday, both convicted of rape and murder, were at the center of a court fight over the drugs used in their execution. Oklahoma's high court initially stayed their executions only the lift the stays last week, saying the men had no right to know the source of the drugs intended to kill them.

UNIDENTIFIED MAEL: They wanted to hurry up and get it done with as little transparency as possible. There should not be another execution in this state until there's a full investigation into what went wrong.


BROWN (on camera): And Oklahoma governor Mary Fallon ordered an investigation into what happened and issued an executive order granting a two-week delay in executions. Chris and Kate?

BOLDUAN: We'll see if that sticks and how long that stay will actually need to be to complete that investigation. Pamela, thank you very much.

Also this morning. There's universal praise for NBA commissioner Adam Silver's decision that came yesterday to ban LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after his racist ranting. But making Sterling go away doesn't seem it's going to be easy. It's not clear yet if the league can get other owners to force him out or if Sterling will challenge the decision in court. Meantime, the Clippers had a pivotal playoff game last night at home.

CNN's Stephanie Elam was at the Staples Center and she joins us live from Los Angeles this morning. A big win last night, Stephanie, in many ways.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A big win indeed, Kate. There was a small smattering of people who did protest, still angry about the situation with Donald Sterling. But for the most part fans came out and inside the Staples Center, the energy was palpable. They were there to support these men playing for the Clippers.


ELAM (voice-over): A rousing show of support as the L.A. Clippers took to the court and then took home the victory against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the playoffs. The team warming up in shirts that read, "One team, one goal, it's time," a symbol of their support after NBA commissioner Adam Silver came out strongly against team owner Donald Sterling.

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA.

ELAM: The harshest punishment in the history of the NBA. Sterling, who admitted the racist rant that surfaced is his own, was also fined $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under the NBA constitution. Before game five Clippers coach Doc Rivers said now the healing can begin.

DOC RIVERS, LA CLIPPERS COACH: I was just really proud of them. I've been proud of the players in the NBA overall. I've been proud of the ownership. We're all in better place because of this.

ELAM: The commissioner's bold action igniting resounding praise from players, owners, and fans alike. Charlotte Bobcats owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan applauds the commissioner's swift and divisive response. LeBron James echoing the sentiment as did Magic Johnson, adding he wished he could be at the game. Diehard Clippers fans also relieved by the NBA's response.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basketball is our sanctuary, where, red, white, and blue, everybody, all races, come together as one and cheering a team on to a victory.

ELAM: Many NBA teams showing solidarity online with the slogan "We are one." The fans on their feet, loudly cheering and proudly wearing Clippers gear, waving signs of support. The energy inside the packed stadium electric, The sentiment clear. We root for the team, not the owner. The players later expressing their gratitude to Silver, their coach, and their fans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we ran out for warm-ups, one of the most emotional things I think I've ever been part of. Almost brought tears to my eyes just to feel the support. (END VIDEOTAPE)

ELAM: And after the game, stars of the team, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and also Coach Rivers, said they were emotionally drained going into this game but they wanted the focus to be on basketball. Rivers telling his team, if you win, that will speak loudly. Chris?

CUOMO: Yet the discussion goes well beyond basketball and we'll continue having it this morning. Stephanie, thank you very much.

Right now we want to tell you about the deadly storms that are still threatening millions of Americans from the Gulf Coast to New England. Massive flooding is now a problem in parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle where there's been close to a foot of rain. One drowning death has already been reported this morning in Florida. Meanwhile, tornadoes are carving up the Midwest in plains states killing 35 people since Sunday.

Martin Savidge is live in Kimberly, Alabama. How are they doing there, martin?

MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: They're doing all right this morning. Good morning, Chris. We should point out this is a weather one-two punch overnight. We had the return of tornadoes and now just incredible amounts of rain. Take a look.


SAVIDGE (voice-over): Breaking over night, a third round of severe weather barreling through the southeast, spawning a deluge. The Florida panhandle pummeled by over nine inches of rain and a massive thunderstorm. At least 65,000 lightning strikes light up the night sky.

Alabama hit hard yet again, flash flooding taking over streets and neighborhoods in Mobile, Alabama, inundated with 12 inches of rain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's touching down. It's touching down.

SAVIDGE: On Tuesday, at least one tornado and multiple funnel clouds were spotted in central North Carolina.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's all sorts of stuff falling out of the sky.

SAVIDGE: Visible from space, the massive three-day storm system tearing through large swaths of the south.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no, no.

SAVIDGE: Packing a mile wide EF-4 tornado, survivors barely making it out alive.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The moment of death is just an inch away.

SAVIDGE: Mississippi and Alabama still reeling from Monday's wide spread destruction. Homes pulverized, cars tossed around on the sides of the roads, and tens of thousands still without power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've got a big problem with power poles down all over the southwestern portion of the county.

SAVIDGE: The tornado outbreak claiming 35 lives since Sunday, including 21-year-old John Servati, a member of the University of Alabama's swim team, after a retaining wall in his basement collapsed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was just unreal. The wind came up and it just roared. Just roared.


SAVIDGE (on camera): Chris, let me tell you a little by about where we are at. We're in the small town of Kimberly, Alabama, located just to the north of Birmingham, Alabama. And this is the remains of the town's fire department. It was a part volunteer, part professional fire department. But, as you can see, it is all gone, at least as far as the structure itself.

And take a look over here. This is the only part of the building that still remains standing. And that happened to be where the fire chief and his wife and two other people took shelter at the height of the storm. The fire trucks were right here. They look all right but they've got to be checked before they can be put back into service.

And take a look in the back here, because this is quite remarkable. That's the fire hose rack. That is not what was cleaned up. That is the way the storm left them. Perfectly rolled as they were. Everything around us ruined. Michaela.

PEREIRA: The randomness of these tornadoes. The very people that are likely out there helping folks, their own fire station damaged. Martin Savidge, thanks for walking us through that. Our hearts go out to the folks that are dealing with that.

Let's give you a little more of your headlines at this hour. We start with sanctions against Russia. They're certainly not slowing the violence in Ukraine. Hundreds of rebels have stormed government buildings in one of Ukraine's eastern provincial capitals. Separatists raised their flag. They fired on police. This aggression comes in the face of new sanctions from the U.S. and European Union, which don't seem to be slowing the Russians down.

Amanda Knox fighting back against a new report by an Italian appeals court explaining their conviction by blaming Knox for fatally stabbing her British roommate over a fight about money. The 26-year-old released a statement saying the new claims are unsupported by evidence or logic since her DNA wasn't found in Meredith Kurcher's room. Knox was cleared in 2011 in Kurcher's 2007 death, but she was convicted again when Italy's highest court ordered a new appeals trial.

And minimum wage taking center stage today in Washington. President Obama fresh off his week-long Asia trip will push for an increase from $7.25 to $10.10. Democrats appear to be making this an election year issue while conceding they probably don't have the votes. A long shot procedural vote is scheduled in the Senate today. No Republicans have yet come out in support of the measure.

Those are your headlines. Kate?

BOLDUAN: All right, let's focus on weather though again because we could be talking about some more severe weather today after we're just seeing what the weather already did in places like where Martin Savidge was. So let's get over to meteorologist Indra Petersons for the very latest, Indra.

INDRA PETERSONS: I mean, just take a look at these pictures this morning, Kate. This is the perfect picture. We are talking about heavy flooding or severe flooding or training. These are pictures out of Pensacola, Florida, this morning, now starting to see it making its way through Panama City, Florida. Also in Mobile, Alabama, we're talking about rainfall rates as much as five inches an hour. Just imagine when the sun comes up, people are trying to make their way to work. They're going to want to drive through this. Please do not. Turn around, don't drown. That is a National Weather Service slogan. It only takes two feet of water to float away your SUV.

Here's what's going on. Six-hour loop here. Look at this. The rain does not really move out of this region. What's even worse, let me show you what it's been looking like for the last 24 hours. This is called training (ph) as system after system continues to pour over the exact same region here. We're talking about places seeing about 11 inches of rain in just the last 24 hours. And, of course, it is continuing to rain so flooding concerns are extremely high.

Into the southeast, yes, places already seeing 11 inches. Lot of places, the heavier thunderstorms, seeing over eight inches spreading into the Northeast. Currently already raining there, expecting about two to five inches of rain. So not as heavy but the flooding concerns high when you have heavy amounts of rainfall in short periods of time.

Severe weather is still here. We're talking about 36 million of you looking at severe weather from D.C. even back through Florida. So the threat for thunderstorms and tornadoes is still out there today. Guys?

BOLDUAN: That is a beast of a system.

PETERSONS: Unbelievable. Just so slow moving and that's the biggest problem.

BOLDUAN: Thanks so much, Indra.

CUOMO: Yes, I mean, we keep hearing, well, this will be it and this will be it. It's not it. It's been day after day after day.

PETERSONS: By Friday it make its way offshore.

CUOMO: All right, let's take a little break here on NEW DAY. When we come back, an Australian company says it has found the wreckage of Flight 370 but nobody wants to go and look for it. Is all the skepticism warranted? What's holding people back? Does anyone have a better idea? We're going to examine the new claims with our experts. BOLDUAN: And a lifetime ban for owner Donald Sterling breathing new life into the Los Angeles Clippers. A big win for the team last night. But could Sterling fight back and keep the controversy rather than their basketball playing front and center? We're going to talk to former NBA stars Philip Bailey and Malik Rose about it.


BOLDUAN: Investigators remain skeptical this morning of an Australian company's claim that it has located what could be the wreckage of missing Flight 370, thousands of miles from the current search area in the Bay of Bengal.

Joining us to discuss this and the latest on the search, CNN's safety analyst and director of special projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dave Gallo, and Mary Schiavo, CNN aviation analyst and former inspector general at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Good morning once again to you, guys.

David, give me your take. We talked about it a little bit yesterday, after we were all kind of be able to sit on the information coming out from GeoResonance. Do you believe it? Is it possible still?

DAVID GALLO, CNN ANALYST: You know, I don't want to say it's impossible because I've seen enough things in oceanography over the years that I thought wouldn't happen that did that weren't possible, but I think it's improbable. You know, I just don't know. You're dealing with the physics of sea water. I don't want to say they're not seeing what they claim to be seeing but it deserves to be checked out.

BOLDUAN: Where is the -- where are your reasons for concern? Here's my thing -- every theory we have, Mary, has a big gaping hole in it. Hence, why we don't have one prevailing theory it seems we talk about, though we know exactly where we do want to be searching around these pings. Where are your concerns in this theory with GeoResonance?

MARY SCHIAVO, CNN AVIATION ANALYST: Well, my concern with the GeoResonance theory is it's not a tried and true method to find a plane. We haven't really used it in finding planes after air crashes.

So, the concern is that it's going to detour both the people and the resources. And somebody has to pay for all of these expeditions and these searches. And this would, of course, be just like the previous one. They would have to get a ship there. They've got a get a crew there, provisioning, and they've got underwater autonomous vehicles to search.

But the other theories have holes, too, and after five, almost six weeks, we don't have the plane yet following the other theories either. So, I agree. It's something that has to be checked out. Find the crew and the money to pay for the job is another thing.

BOLDUAN: Talk to me about that area, Mary. I want to get your take on that, too. The Bay of Bengal, is it easy to search, what are the conditions? We know it's a shallower area so that, I guess, is one benefit. What do you think?

SCHIAVO: Well, you know, any underwater search is difficult. You know, off the coast of long island for doing TW800 was difficult but it was much shallower water and they were able to get literally almost all the plane and they were able to found remains from each of the passengers and crew. So, it's certainly doable.

I think what everybody is concerned about including the leaders of the search is now it's diverting the entire search and the focus of the search somewhere else, to maintain searches on two different fronts and two different areas is difficult, not only just coordination but assets and resources and money.

So, you know, but I agree. They, you know, like in high school when they tell you to show your work, well, they showed their work. And it's very interesting. It's very impressive.

And you can't help but be interested once you see what they did and how they did it and the fact that they had a control search. They have data from before the crash and after the crash. And that's pretty powerful stuff.

BOLDUAN: Yes, showing that these anomalies didn't exist before the crash but did exist after the crash.

What do you think would be the best path forward to test this theory, David? Is there another nation that's not currently involved in the search in the southern arc that could -- that has the resources to send over without having to reroute current assets?

GALLO: Well, maybe. But, you know, I think -- I agree completely with what Mary said. I don't know that we need to get on a boat to get out there. Maybe we should redo it from the air if it's done with air and satellites, you know, show it again.

Let's do it one more time in front of a group of the investigative committee. Maybe that's the thing to do. But I do question how they could look at so much of the Indian Ocean and what about the other stuff they saw, was this the only stuff they saw, this one plane? The fact that the data looks like an airplane troubles me, too.

BOLDUAN: Which is a bit counter intuitive. Someone not familiar with this method might think that looks like a plane, that's great. But for you, that actually is a cause for concern.

GALLO: It is. But if it is true this is ground breaking. I mean, it's --

BOLDUAN: But it would suggest that the plane had to crash into the water and submerge under the water fully intact in the Bay of Bengal which is a possibility, Mary, but still a more unlikely scenario?

SCHIAVO: Right. It's very, very difficult to land on the water and land intact. I know people who have landed on the water and the plane was intact and they got out of it, but they were small planes and it was a -- usually a controlled landing. They had lost their engines and they had no choice, they had to sit it down. They sat it down very gently on the water and they got out and the plane sinks right away. They don't float very long.

So, I've known people who have done it but mostly small planes. In history, there have been some planes that had done that but they were World War II planes mostly that they find under the water intact, and different kind of plane, different size of plane. So, it would be a first.

BOLDUAN: So, we'll continue to test this theory and other theories throughout the show.

Mary, David, great to see you. Thank you.

GALLO: Thanks, Kate.

BOLDUAN: We're going to take you inside GeoResonance at the very top of the hour, and to have a further look at what we were talking about right here, at the technology that gives this company, this group, the confidence that they have in their claims -- Chris.

CUOMO: Really is interesting whether or not this warrants being searched. And if it is, why isn't it happening?

Let's take a quick break here on NEW DAY. And when we come back, it's not over yet.

The L.A. Clippers and its fans are clearly overjoyed after the team owner was banned for life. But will the owners of the different teams in the league do what it takes to force a sale? And are you ready to debate whether or not the punishment fits the offense? NBA stars are, join them coming up.


PEREIRA: Almost half past the hour here on NEW DAY. Welcome back.

Let's look at your headlines.

A lethal injection fails, a second one now called off in Oklahoma after a new drug cocktail left a convicted killer writhing. A corrections official says there were some sort of issues with 38-year- old Clayton Lockett's vein. He eventually died of an apparent heart attack more than 40 minutes after he received his first injection. A second execution of Charles Warner has now been postponed.

Close to 12 inches of rain triggering devastating flooding in parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. One drowning death has been reported in Escambia County, Florida, where schools and highways were being shut down and a state of emergency is in effect. The threat of more severe weather and flooding is impacting millions of people right now on the Gulf Coast, all the way to New England.

Right now, Iraqi voters are heading to the polls amid fierce bloodshed. Two women died rather in a blast as they walked to one of the country's polling stations. This comes as Prime Minister Nouri Maliki is battling for a third term in office. He is facing strong opposition with sectarian violence at its most intense in more than five years. This is Iraq's first election since the withdrawal of U.S. troops three years ago.

Back here at home. Wisconsin voter identification law gets rejected. Federal judge struck it down ruling it violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection. He said requiring the voters show a state-issued ID at the poll imposes an unfair burden on poor and minority voters. The ruling could have implications in November when Republican Governor Scott Walker faces re-election.

Those are your headlines. I'll send it over to you, Chris.

CUOMO: All right, Mick. Thank you very much.

The Clippers are on the road to clinching a playoff series after dramatic day when their owner Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped the harshest punishment possible on Sterling, including a $2.5 million fine. He also did something unprecedented. He encouraged the leagues other owners to vote to force Donald Sterling to sell.

The question is, what will happen and will Sterling go quietly and should he?

We're joined now by Thurl Bailey, the vice chairman of the NBA Retired Players Association.

I can't read, but I can think, Thurl. And the thought that comes to mind about this is there was so much anticipation about what Silver would do, which is actually still distracting to me. Were you surprised that he did everything in his power that he could to punish?

THURL BAILEY, NBA RETIRED PLAYERS ASSOCIATION: I really wasn't surprised. I really wasn't. One, because as a board, as NBA retired players board, we had a chance to sit down with Adam Silver when he took over the reins from David Stern during the all-star weekend.

And the one thing I got out of that meeting was that at some point, he wanted to put his own stamp. He was very grateful for what he learned from David Stern but he wanted his own stamp. I don't think anyone at that time could have at that time, predicted this would happen.

But I think it sends a message. I think it sends a huge message that it won't be tolerated. And I think he did the right thing at the right time.

CUOMO: Now, important to note. Had been secret until now, but the bylaws and the constitution that the owners and league play under are now out.

BAILEY: Right.

CUOMO: And this isn't Silver speculating, I think the owners should do this. It is within his power to call on the owners to do it, in the constitution it says if 3/4 of the owners, so you get 23, right, if my math is OK.

BAILEY: Right.

CUOMO: They would have to say yes, he must be forced to sell and then he is. Do you think the owners will step up?

BAILEY: Well, it's an interesting dynamic because they're his bosses. And, you know, I personally think that he would not have stepped up to that podium to recommend that if he hadn't in advance made sure that it was going to happen. He felt very confident in his deliberation yesterday that it was going to happen. So, I would have to believe that there's a strong sense right now of solidarity, if you will.