Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) said Wednesday that she had ordered an internal review of the nearly two-hour-long execution of an inmate, but she said she believed the condemned man who gasped and snorted throughout most of the ordeal “did not suffer.”
Lawyers for Joseph Rudolph Wood said the inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution before he died. One defense lawyer called it “a botched execution that should have taken 10 minutes,” according to the Associated Press.
Yet Brewer released a statement saying that Wood was executed in a lawful manner and “by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer.”
“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,” she added.
Wood’s execution had been put on hold recently after his attorneys claimed the inmate had a First Amendment right to knowing the qualifications of his executioners and the origin of the lethal injection drugs to be used. The U.S. Supreme Court then upheld Arizona’s lethal-injection protocol, allowing the execution to proceed.
Brewer said in the statement that “justice was carried out,” but said she was “concerned” about the length of time it took for the lethal injection drugs to complete Wood’s execution. She said she ordered the state’s Department of Corrections, which had carried out the execution, to conduct a full review of it.