“I am concerned by the length of time it took for the administered drug protocol to complete the lawful execution of the convicted double murderer, Joseph Wood.”
According to Wood’s attorney, Dale Baich, “It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breath for about an hour and forty minutes.” Why should Brewer be ‘concerned’ about the length of time it took to kill Wood? Surely she was aware that the two drugs that were administered to Wood, midazolam and hydromorphone, were the same ones used in the botched execution of Dennis McGuire in Ohio in January.
“While justice was carried out today, I directed the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of this process.”
How can the torture of another human being be considered or called “justice?” It makes an absolutely mockery of the concept. Also given the statement by Stephanie Grisham, a spokesperson for the Arizona Attorney General’s office who witnessed the execution, one can’t have confidence in the so-called review. Grisham said: “There was no gasping of air. There was snoring…He just laid there. It was quite peaceful.”
The Washington Post reported that “Charles Ryan, the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections, said in a statement Wednesday night that Wood did not suffer during the execution.
‘Throughout this execution, I conferred and collaborated with our IV team members and was assured unequivocally that the inmate was comatose and never in pain or distress,’ Ryan said.
He said that the medical team confirmed that Wood was sedated, checking eight different times in all. Ryan also said in his statement that Wood did not grimace or make any movements other than snoring.”
Are these the folks we are supposed to trust to do an honest review?
“One thing is certain, however, Inmate Wood died in a lawful manner and by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer.”
Here are some account from witnesses to the execution.
“An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution saw Wood start gasping shortly after a sedative and a pain killer were injected into his veins. He gasped more than 600 times over the next hour and 40 minutes.”
Michael Kiefer, a reporter for the Arizona Republic who witnessed the execution, told the Republic he counted 660 gasps. “I just know it was not efficient,” Kiefer said. “It took a long time.”
“This is in stark comparison to the gruesome, vicious suffering that he inflicted on his two victims – and the lifetime of suffering he has caused their family.”
I’ll let Radley Balko respond here:
Yes, it's true that "Wood's victims suffered too." But perhaps we shouldn't look to murderers when establishing our baseline for humaneness.
— Radley Balko (@radleybalko) July 24, 2014