John McCain, who learned a thing or two about torture during his years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, says the botched execution of an Arizona inmate was torture and that the people involved need to be held responsible. "I believe in the death penalty for certain crimes. But that is not an acceptable way of carrying it out," the Arizona senator tells Politico. "The lethal injection needs to be an indeed lethal injection and not the bollocks-upped situation that just prevailed. That’s torture." However, he says he doesn't plan to raise the issue with Gov. Jan Brewer because it's a state issue for the state to deal with.
Double murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood took nearly two hours to die on Wednesday, and Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy rejected a request to halt the execution after an hour had elapsed. The director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, however, says it's "premature and erroneous" to call the execution "botched," reports the Arizona Republic. "There is no medical or forensic evidence to date that supports that conclusion. In fact, the evidence gathered thus far supports the opposite," the director said yesterday. According to a transcript of a phone call made to a district court judge during the execution, an assistant attorney general argued that Woods was "effectively brain-dead" as he gasped for breath and there was no point in stopping the execution. The judge said it was "very concerning" that the AG's opinion was based on a visual observation instead of monitoring equipment.