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Arizona DOC Statement on Wood Execution

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Arizona Director of Corrections Charles Ryan has this statement on the execution of Joseph Wood (emphasis added):

The Department of Corrections followed the execution protocol and, as with every execution, it was monitored by an IV team of licensed medical professionals in control of the medical procedures.

The first confirmation that inmate Wood was fully and deeply sedated occurred at 1:57 PM, five minutes after the direction to proceed with the administration of drugs was given. The medical team re-affirmed the inmate remained deeply sedated seven additional times before death was pronounced at 3:49 PM.

Once the inmate was sedated, other than sonorous respiration, or snoring, he did not grimace or make any further movement. 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.

Physiologically, the time to complete an execution varies for each individual. The Department of Corrections will conduct a full review of the execution protocol and process. We will await the results of an independent autopsy from the Pima County Medical Examiner and we have requested a toxicology study as well.
Also, Ashby Jones and Jacob Gershman have this story in the WSJ.
Others, however, see such concerns as vastly overblown. "This was not a cruel execution," said Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, which supports the death penalty. "The execution carried out the judgment handed down by the legal system, and the inmate was sedated the whole time."  Added Mr. Scheidegger, "It may have been painful for spectators to watch, but it wasn't painful" for Mr. Wood.
Notice where the quote ends and the paraphrase begins.  It is the WSJ's style to refer to everyone with a courtesy title, no matter how reprehensible.  I called him something less complementary.

2 Comments

I wonder why McCain called it "terrible" "torture"?

Because he spoke without taking sufficient care to find out the facts, and on the basis of, shall we say, more florid accounts provided by defense lawyers.

Politicians, even good ones, do this all the time.

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