Joseph Rudolph Wood's execution in Arizona on Wednesday afternoon took nearly two hours after the lethal injection began. His lawyers, claiming that their client was gasping and snorting for an hour, filed an emergency appeal to have the execution stopped. Wood died before a court could act.
"The execution commenced at 1:52 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC) - Florence. He was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m," Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement.
Wood, 55, was convicted in 1989 of killing his girlfriend and her father. His execution came after days of back-and-forth between courts after he claimed that Arizona's secret sourcing of its lethal injection drugs violated the First Amendment. From NBC News:
An appeals panel agreed with him, but the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the stay of execution. The Arizona Supreme Court briefly delayed the execution on Wednesday morning, but ultimately gave the state the green light.
Lawyers representing two other men executed last month—Marcus Wellons in Georgia and John Winfield in Missouri—also filed appeals demanding that their states reveal where they are obtaining their lethal injection drugs, but were denied.
[Image via AP]