A convicted murderer who was executed last week in Arizona was injected with 15 separate doses of a drug combination because the initial drug protocol of one dose didn't seem to be enough to kill him, according to documents released by the state Department of Corrections to the inmate’s attorney, the Los Angeles Times reports. The released reports are just the latest twist in the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood III. Witnesses said Wood gasped and snorted for more than 90 minutes before he died, prompting the governor to order an investigation and reinvigorating a national debate over the death penalty.
Arizona Department of Corrections protocol calls for a prisoner to be executed with an initial dose of 50 milligrams of hydromorphone and 50 milligrams of midazolam but stipulates that more doses can be administered as long as the agency's director gives the green light to do so. After the second dose was administered, more doses were injected at a rate of almost every couple of minutes until Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m. “The execution logs released today by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows that the experimental drug protocol did not work as promised,” said Wood’s attorney, Dale Baich.