PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution that quickly intensified America’s debate on capital punishment. It is the third prolonged execution this year in the U.S.

The execution Wednesday of 55-year-old Joseph Rudolph Wood took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency appeal while it was ongoing. The Arizona Supreme Court also called an impromptu hearing on the matter and learned of his death during the discussions.

“He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” Wood’s lawyers wrote in a legal filing demanding that the courts stop it. “He is still alive.”

Continue reading:  http://news.msn.com/crime-justice/arizona-execution-takes-nearly-2-hours

Commentary by The Secular Jurist:  It should be noted that on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a federal appeals court ruling which had halted this execution unless the state of Arizona revealed its source for the controversial lethal injection drugs intended to be used.  Also, it was reported on MSNBC last night that the coroner in this case may have disobeyed a court order mandating an immediate autopsy to be performed on Mr. Wood, although we have been unable to verify this charge.  The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the application of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

6 thoughts on “Arizona execution takes nearly 2 hours

  1. I don’t know what to say after reading and hearing about this on the radio. It is a sad affair. What type of justice is this. How is this different with an eye for eye and how does it make the executioners any different from him?


  2. Horrible, horrible story. And when there’s insight into how justice sometimes goes wrong, and innocent people receive the death penalty, it makes it more frightening. No matter what he’d done, he must have been terrified.


  3. This is just awful. I cannot imagine the terror this person must have gone through. I hope someday the USA will stop executing people. I don’t think there is any humane way to take someone’s life, in fact their is nothing humane about death. Sadly, though the death penalty has long been abolished here in the UK,, there is a good majority of people who would like to see it returned. Frankly I do not see what good it does and is, as someone has already pointed out, rather like the eye for an eye mentality.


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