Tucson murderer execution appeal heads to SCOTUS - Tucson News Now

Tucson murderer execution appeal heads to SCOTUS

Tucson murderer execution appeal heads to SCOTUS

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The fate of a convicted murderer, who killed two people in Tucson, is in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Joseph Wood shot and killed his estranged girlfriend and her dad at a mechanic shop in midtown in 1989. As Wood waits in his prison cell on Monday night waiting to see if he will die by lethal injection on Wednesday, his attorney, Dale Baich, is fighting to know more about the drugs that will kill Wood.

“This combination of drugs has only been used once before,” Baich said. "Our concern is that the state of Arizona is experimenting during the execution process.”

However, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said Arizona has told Wood everything he needs to know about the lethal drugs. The state will use a mixture of a sedative called midazolam and a painkiller known as hydromorphone to execute Wood.

“We’ve provided the information to what the chemicals are,” Horne said. “But once we provide the information to the source of the drug, then they try to pressure the manufacturer not to supply it.”Baich said it is his client’s First Amendment right to know.“When gas was a method of execution, the company that supplied the cyanide and the designer of the gas chamber were known to the public,” Baich said.

The first execution in the country to use this combination of drugs earlier this year in Ohio went horribly wrong, according to Baich. He said the inmate executed in Ohio appeared to go to sleep then started to have convulsions.However, that inmate in Ohio had serious health problems which caused those problems, according to Horne. He said using lethal injections to execute death row inmates is the most humane practice. 

“If we go back to the electric chair or gas chamber, I think it would be a horrible thing to have to do,” according to Horne.

Wood could still be executed on Wednesday if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the State of Arizona’s favor. Stay with TucsonNewsNow.com as this story develops.

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