Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has ordered a review of the state’s lethal-injection procedures after a convicted murderer put to death Wednesday was seen gasping and snorting for more than 1½ hours before he died.
The apparently botched execution of 55-year-old Joseph R. Wood III is the latest lethal injection to go awry in the U.S., coming less than three months after an Oklahoma inmate died of a heart attack 40 minutes into a procedure that had to be halted.
The most recent incident is likely to raise more questions about states’ capacity to properly administer lethal injections as they struggle to obtain the drugs to carry them out.
“I am concerned by the length of time it took for the administered drug protocol to complete the lawful execution,” Ms. Brewer said in a statement Wednesday evening.
The execution began at 1:52 p.m., and the inmate was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., according to a statement from Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. Typically, an execution would be completed in a fraction of that time.
Take less time to beat him to death with a hammer.
Of course, I’m hugely biased, being against capital punishment in the first place. But this just ain’t right.