AZ Execution Takes Two Hours; Lawyer: “The Experiment Failed”


Executions by lethal injection usually take about 10 minutes, but Joseph Rudolph Wood’s yesterday in Arizona took two hours, reports the Arizona Republic. There had been concern about the drugs used in this execution, a cocktail of the Valium-like midazolam and a narcotic called hydromorphone. The U.S. Supreme Court refused to delay it. For an hour and a half, Wood made a sound the newspaper described as “a snoring, sucking, similar to when a swimming-pool filter starts taking in air … it was death by apnea.”

Finally, Wood started to gasp less frequently. Once, twice, minutes apart. Finally, Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan appeared and announced that the execution had been completed. One of Wood’s lawyers said, “The experiment failed.”

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