AZ death penalty case questioned - Tucson News Now

AZ death penalty case questioned

Once again, Arizona is in the national spotlight. This time, it's centered on Wednesday’s execution of a death-row inmate and how long it took him to die.

Joseph Wood was on death row for killing his estranged girlfriend and her father in Tucson in 1989.

Some witnesses say Wood gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half after the lethal injection. The family of the victims say he was snoring. Prison officials say he was comatose and never in pain.

However, Wood’s death took so long, the inmate’s lawyers were able to file an emergency appeal, but he died during the discussions - nearly two hours after the procedure started.

It is the third “prolonged” execution in the U.S. this year. The others were in Ohio and Oklahoma.

Gov. Brewer has ordered a full review of the process. And that is the right thing to do. You may or may not agree with the death penalty. But it is the law. And this story has brought the debate to our full attention.

The State of Arizona needs to figure out what went wrong and what we'll do next. Arizona needs to look at a more “speedy” alternative - before we even think about the next execution.

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