Was the execution of Joseph Wood another botched lethal injection?
Was the execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona on Wednesday another botched lethal injection?
In late April, a doctor halted the Oklahoma execution of Clayton Lockett, 38, who died of a massive heart attack 40 minutes later. On Wednesday, it took Arizona death row inmate Wood an estimated 100 minutes to die during his execution.
Wood's lawyers filed an emergency motion to stop the execution as the hours went by. "He was 'gasping and snorting for more than an hour,' they said," reports CNN. "'He is still alive,' the motion read. 'This execution has violated Mr. Wood's Eighth Amendment right to be executed in the absence of cruel and unusual punishment.'"
Reporter Troy Hayden, who was in attendance at the execution, compares Wood's last breaths to "a fish on shore gulping for air," details CNN.
The state's corrections department, however, claims that they checked the lethal combination of two drugs, midazolam and hydromorphone, seven times between 1:52 p.m. and 3:49 p.m. when Wood was finally pronounced dead.
The state also claims that Wood was "snoring." A federal judge has since ordered local officials in Arizona to save all physical evidence in Wood's execution for further investigation.