Inmate's execution takes nearly 2 hours


PHOENIX – The Wednesday afternoon execution of convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood III took nearly two hours, confirming concerns that had been raised by his attorneys about a controversial drug used by the state of Arizona.
Wood remained alive at Arizona’s state prison in Florence long enough for his public defenders to file an emergency motion for a stay of execution with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, after the process began at 1:53 p.m. MST. The motion noted that Wood “has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour” after being injected with a lethal cocktail of drugs.
According to Arizona Republic reporter Michael Kiefer, who witnessed the execution, lines were run into each of Wood’s arms. After Wood said his last words, he was unconscious by 1:57 p.m. At about 2:05, he started gasping, Kiefer said.
“I counted about 660 times he gasped,” Kiefer said. “That petered out by 3:33. The death was called at 3:49.”
“I just know it was not efficient. It took a long time,” Kiefer said.

This is barbaric.


I agree, barbaric indeed. Even though the man was a convicted murderer he was still a human being and did not deserve to be tortured to death.


I agree that it was a poorly done execution but I think it might seem worse than it really is. When they do lethal injection, they put the prisoner to sleep, using plenty more injection to put them under than what is necessary. If the prisoner was under a deep deep sleep there is a decent possibilityy that the body might have been gasping for air and struggling but consciously completely unaware of how much he was struggling. With that said, I don’t think it’s an excuse for poorly putting a man to death.



I really cannot get behind executions in the United States.


As a lawyer I have read of too many cases where an innocent man was hung for a crime they did not do. Thus, I am against the death penalty, as you do what you cannot undo.
If I did believe in capital punishment, I would only kill them after thirty years in prison, to allow them to prove themselves innocent.
I do not understand the rational that an execution should be swift or painless. If one truly believes in an eye for an eye, the method of death should be determined by the crime committed and the pain of the victim. Thus, as a Christian I do not believe in an eye for an eye, thus am opposed to the death sentence.
It is up to those who support it to explain why it has to be painless.


The Catholic Church does allow for Capital punishment in certain circumstances. One could argue whether or not those circumstances exist in the US. That said, the idea that this issue rises to the level of other sanctity of life issues - such as abortion of innocents - is wrong. I am opposed to the death penalty in the US - while at the same time I agree that there are persuasive arguments in favor of the practice.



Back when I was in Speech & Debate class, we had a topic about whether or not executions should be publicly televised. My initial reaction was absolutely not, but the more I researched into the topic the more I realized that in fact it makes quite a bit of logical sense. Things like this could be happening more often than is reported. If we must have the death penalty, then we need to be certain that it is as humane as such a thing can possibly be.


Having adequate medical personal and a third party present could also be used to report on and prevent events such as this without the need for television.
I know that many in the medical field object, and God bless them for not wanting to do harm; however, maybe we must look a the lessor of two evils… let an untrained individual perform the act and do so badly, or let a medical professional perform the act to ensure the condemned doesn’t suffer. To have the wisdom of the ages here.


  • The death penalty should rarely be used an only if there are no other means of keeping society safe from the convicted individual. This is stated in the CCC and was the sentiment of the St. Pope John Paul II.
  • Only the condemned’s lawyer and family should be present along with a representative of the the people, and the victim to ensure that the execution is done in a human manner. I really do not believe that the victim witnessing the execution is absolutely required.
  • For the dignity of the family of the person to be executed, executions should absolutely never be televised.
  • For the dignity of the victim of the person to be executed, executions should absolutely never be televised.
  • For the dignity of society, executions should absolutely never be televised. Do we not have enough death and violence in the media without exections becoming the new “reality-tv” show (along the lines of “The Running Man” or as depicted in many dystopian stories)


agreed… besides you can only kill them once.
sort of like a spanking, once done, that’s it… grounding, now that can go on for an age.
… and if it is discovered, as has happened way too many times, that the evidence was tampered with, fabricated, or newer technology can find something that wasn’t possible at the time that exonerates the convict… we can let them out of prison… we can raise them from the dead… and how are they going to repent if truly guilty and we execute them?

the death penalty is really a bad topic and one that has been discussed before.:frowning:


Neither can I.


Yea thats another point, but whats up with these lethal injections. There’s something terribly wrong. Its impossible these executions were carried out for years with no hitch, then in the last year or so all these horrific incidents occur? There’s an issue with the drugs used.

A new loosely approved FDA generic drug must have been introduced to the mix as cost effective? It always comes down to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in the US. :shrug:


What happened was that the supplier of one of the major drugs used in the cocktail quit making/shipping to the US; thus, a scramble to find a substitute or to import. The imports have been banded by the FDA; thus, even though the same, are prohibited by federal law from being used for any reason within the US.


Still, I’m sure he suffered a lot less than his victims.


Sounds right, no-one ever heard of these back to back tragic cases of suffering promoted as humane since the invention of the electric chair. :slight_smile: Same thing happens with us and preventative meds. Nothing to play with either. :slight_smile: And with the VA down to welfare.


Or virtually anyone else who dies.

What is being reported is not greatly different, (and is much shorter and likely more painless ) than most natural deaths. I have been present for three natural deaths, and this executed man went through a lot less than those three did.

A lot less.

So, while I oppose the death penalty for the SOLE reason that JPII disfavored it, I cannot be outraged at the fact that it took what seem to be two unconscious hours for this killer to die.

It also seems to me there is something awry with the chemicals used. I have seen many an animal “put to sleep”. It is usually a two-drug thing. The first puts the animal totally unconscious. The second paralyzes the diaphragm, and the animal dies very quickly. People die of drug overdoses all the time. Somebody involved in this doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing.


Eye witness said the injection worked, but then he woke a few minutes later. Its definitely the mixture which imho the liberals have become way to liberal with. Frankly we are seeing this everywhere in society with weekly lawsuits advertised on TV.


As a lawyer (American, I presume) you are certainly aware that under U.S. law a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt. Once convicted, the law must proceed - up to and including execution, if warranted - on the presumption that the person is guilty.

If you say “we can convict him of a capital offense but let’s not execute him because he might be innocent” then right there is your reasonable doubt. If he “might be innocent” then he shouldn’t have been convicted in the first place.


The obvious difference is that if a mistake is discovered later, the wrongfully convicted person can be made nearly whole again. But the wrongfully executed remains completely and totally dead no matter what the state would like to do to make him whole again.

I think the main reason we use lethal injection is not out of any concern for the suffering or the dignity of the convict. It is out of a desire to ease the horror for the rest of us, since lethal injection looks so much like nice peaceful sleep. If we really cared about the suffering of the convict, we would use the guillotine, as was being discussed in another thread. It offers the absolute minimum in suffering for the convict. But that would leave too many of us with nightmares - especially those charged with carrying out the order. That in turn would keep the horror of what we are doing front and center, as it should be. We are children of the light, not of darkness. Shine a bright light on executions and they will be less common.


Whats the percentage and statistics on that? The revolving door syndrome doesn’t indicate any of this. They can be made whole again or no? :smiley:


In this day and age, wrongful convictions in capital cases rarely, if ever, occur. Forensic science has advanced to the point that it is nearly impossible to convict an innocent person.

You read the news stories about how a convicted person has been exonerated after spending 30 years or so in prison. That’s because they were convicted years ago before things like DNA testing and the like was available. In this day and age it would be highly unlikely to convict the wrong person.

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