Inmate Takes 2 Hours to Die in Arizona Execution
Lawyers for Joseph Wood tried to stop procedure after an hour
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2014 6:18 PM CDT
Updated Jul 23, 2014 7:09 PM CDT
This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood.   (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File)

(Newser) – Another botched execution? Arizona executed a murderer today, but it took Joseph Rudolph Wood nearly two hours to die, reports the Arizona Republic. It took so long that Wood's lawyers filed an emergency appeal to stop the procedure after an hour because they say their 55-year-old client was still gasping for air at that point, reports the Guardian. According to the court filing cited by the LA Times, the lethal injection began at 1:52pm local time. Five minutes later, the state said Wood was sedated, "but at 2:02 he began to breathe," wrote the attorneys. "At 2:03 his mouth moved. Mr. Wood has continued to breathe since that time. He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour. At 3:02 p.m. At that time, staff rechecked for sedation. He is still alive."

The execution continued, and Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49pm, one hour and 57 minutes after the procedure began. The details of what happened aren't out yet, but the case is drawing immediate parallels to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma. Wood's lawyers had tried to stop the execution from taking place, arguing that he had the right to know where the lethal drugs were coming from, but the US Supreme Court allowed it to proceed. Wood murdered his girlfriend and her father in 1989, and the AP quotes a relative of the victims unmoved by the idea that Wood suffered any discomfort. "This man conducted a horrific murder and you guys are going, 'Let's worry about the drugs,'" said Richard Brown. "Why didn't they give him a bullet, why didn't we give him Drano?"

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Showing 3 of 512 comments
JJ
Jul 26, 2014 12:02 AM CDT
He got what he deserved for killing two innocents. I hope the bleeding hearts will stop being emotional about this! We should bring back firing squads in all states. And if there is incontrovertible DNA evidence then no appeals or death row for 20 years either - make it FAST
Shata
Jul 25, 2014 9:41 PM CDT
Good- The result in the end is what it should be. Dosn't matter how you get there :P
donna
Jul 25, 2014 10:29 AM CDT
It really sick and tired of hearing it was a botched execution. He is dead, is he not. Seems like a success to me. If he did not put himself in the position to be there guess we wouldn't be having this discussion about him now would we. I have 0 compassion for him, I hope he hurt like hell. I save my compassion for his victims and their family.