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Fifteen lethal injections employed in two-hour botched Arizona execution

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The mystery cocktail used in Robert Wood’s lethal injection execution that was supposed to kill the convicted murderer on July 23 in his Florence, Arizona, prison has been revealed. Initially, the execution team shot him up with 50 milligrams of midazolam and 50 milligrams of hydromorphone. But the first dose of the cocktail didn’t do the trick; and executioners injected him again and again for a total of 15 shots - that still took almost two hours to finally kill the convict.

Official logs of Wood’s execution were released on August 1 and shared by USA Today. The protocol used by the Arizona Department of Corrections for using lethal injections states that if a subject “is still conscious after three minutes, the director of the department can authorize a second dose.” In total though, Wood was injected 15 times and received a whopping 750 milligrams each of the drugs midazolam and hydromorphone. Wood received those injections approximately every three to 10 minutes, which left him gasping for air for almost two hours until he finally succumbed to the deadly cocktails.

The time for the lethal injection to do its job should have taken about 10 minutes. Attorneys for the convicted murderer claimed that the execution was botched, even when it was still taking place over a week ago. Officials representing the prison point to the logs released yesterday which state that although the execution took nearly two hours, Woods remained sedated throughout and “felt no pain.” The two-hour and painful to watch execution has brought the debate of capital punishment back into the public spotlight, especial capital punishment by lethal injection.

The Huffington Post reported that the two drugs used in Wood’s lethal injection were sedatives and painkillers. The official logs released yesterday also show that a licensed medical doctor was part of the execution team. Wood’s legal team wants an independent investigation of the execution, undertaken by a nongovernmental entity, to take place.

Wood’s lawyer, Dale Baich, released a written statement saying that the “experimental” cocktail employed by the Arizona Department of Corrections did not work as promised. “Instead of the one dose as required under the protocol, ADC injected 15 separate doses of the drug combination, resulting in the most prolonged execution in recent memory," Baich wrote.


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