Arizona's Execution of Joseph Wood on Hold

Categories: News
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Steven Depolo


UPDATE 4:13 p.m.: Wood has been executed, although the procedure took nearly two hours. His attorney actually prepared a motion to stop the execution after more than an hour. Read the latest at the end of this post.

The execution of convicted murderer Joseph Wood has been put on hold by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Wood was scheduled to be executed today at 10 a.m., but that didn't happen. The Arizona Supreme Court will consider Wood's case.

See also:
-Death Row Inmate's Execution on Hold as He Tries to Find Details on the Method
-Judge Kozinski: If You Can't Stand the "Splatter," Get Out of the Execution Business

Wood's execution was put on hold earlier this week by a federal appeals court, but the U.S. Supreme Court lifted the stay ahead of the scheduled execution. Wood wanted the state to release detailed information on the drugs that will be used to kill him, as the controversial mixture of drugs haven't been used to execute anyone in Arizona yet.

The state lawsuit -- which is holding up the execution today -- involves a similar complaint about the drugs, and also claims that his previous attorney was ineffective in mounting a mental-health defense in an attempt to avoid his execution.

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Wood's death warrant states that it's valid for 24 hours, meaning Wood can still be executed before 10 a.m. Thursday on this warrant. Wood is being executed for the Wood for the 1989 murders of his estranged girlfriend and her father.

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ADC
Joseph Wood.

Below is a summary of the murders from the Arizona Department of Corrections:
Wood and his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, had been involved in a turbulent relationship for 5 years, which had been marred by numerous breakups and several domestic violent incidents. Debbie was working at a local body shop owned by her family. On August 7, 1989, Wood walked into the shop and shot Gene Dietz, age 55, in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver, killing him. Gene Dietz's 70-year-old brother was present and tried to stop Wood, but Wood pushed him away and proceeded into another section of the body shop. Wood went up to Debbie, placed her in some type of hold, and shot her once in the abdomen and once in the chest, killing her. Wood then fled the building. Two police officers approached Wood and ordered him to drop his weapon. After Wood placed the weapon on the ground, he reached down and picked it up, and pointed it at the officers. The officers fired, striking Wood several times. Wood was transported to a local hospital where he underwent extensive surgery.
Wood's attorney Dale Baich says, "We are hopeful that the Arizona Supreme Court will give the necessary time and consideration to the constitutional claims raised in Mr. Wood's petition, including review of the experimental combination of drugs to be used in the execution."

UPDATE 11:33 a.m.: The stay has been lifted.

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UPDATE 4:10 p.m.: According to the Attorney General's office, Wood's execution started at 1:52 p.m., but he was not declared dead until 3:49 p.m.

His attorney actually prepared a motion during the execution in an attempt to put a stop to it. That motion read, in part:
The Arizona Department of Corrections began the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood III at 1:52 p.m. At 1:57 p.m ADC reported that Mr. Wood was sedated, but at 2:02 he began to breathe. At 2:03 his mouth moved. Mr. Wood has continued to breathe since that time. He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour. At 3:02 p.m. At that time, staff rechecked for sedation. He is still alive. This execution has violated Mr. Wood's Eighth Amendment right to be executed in the absence of cruel and unusual punishment.

We respectfully request that this Court stop the execution and require that the Department of Corrections use the lifesaving provisions required in its protocol. See Arizona Department Protocol 710:

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46 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

This is OUTRAGEOUS ... any NYC cop could have choked this man to death in 30 seconds.


Arizona State Executioners = Epic Fail.



valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

The fact that a body continues to try to breathe is no indication that the brain is experiencing anything at all, let alone anything that would be considered "suffering".


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The Hate State TORTURES another Human Being to Death !!



Elise Tensley
Elise Tensley

How is it a botched execution?..a convicted murderer is dead after being sentenced to death...sounds like a successful execution to me. No sympathy here.

Matthew Clemens
Matthew Clemens

Well, he got 20 years longer than his victims. I hope he suffered terrible pain the whole time!

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Well they blew it.  Can this state do anything right?  Anything at all!! 

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

You're  a bit late on this,as it seems the state REALLY screwed the pooch on doing this in anything thing close to a humane manner.  It took a couple hours to get to the point it should have been in minutes...


Can we use HornieBoi or Hoopencaller as test subject to make sure it's done right next time?  Candy Thomas can first claim to deport them!

Juliane Cartaino
Juliane Cartaino

8th Amendment. People who don't care that it's not being upheld, while technically not criminals, are nevertheless barbaric and uncivilised in their thinking. Murderers inflict heinous acts-that doesn't mean we do the same retalitorily. The absence of outrage over this hearkens back to a Middle Ages mentality.

Sharon Ridley
Sharon Ridley

So maybe a firing squad wouldn't be such a bad idea?

Joy Farrelly
Joy Farrelly

Sick and barbaric...Does this make us any less of a murderer?

imhungrynow
imhungrynow

what did the murdering fuck have for his last meal?

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

The death penalty does absolutely nothing to deter murderers. It only serves as a revenge tool and to please evil, twisted Americans who get to enjoy inflicting pain on others. 

With every death sentence, we lose a part of our collective soul as a nation. This should be a good example of it but people have allowed themselves to enjoy the pain and suffering of another person as sport. Its easy to justify your own immorality. Sure, the man was a murderer. But those who enjoy this shit all have blood on their hands. They aren't that much different than the murderers-just too afraid to try it. 

Terry Pilon
Terry Pilon

The death penalty is antiquated and executions are barbaric. It is long past time to abolish this practice. It is proven to not serve as deterrent it is vastly more expensive and the historic numbers of innocents on death row as well as those executed is staggering.

fraufoust
fraufoust

One less murderous dirtbag for us taxpayers to support

bobby5527
bobby5527

I'm not anti capital punishment but if you can euthanize a dog in less than 10 seconds why can't you do that for a human?

John P-nut Trigg
John P-nut Trigg

An hour and 56min his victims didn't get !!! Should have been sooner !!!

Gary Rorrer
Gary Rorrer

So was the murders he committed in 1989!..Can not believe states can afford to house prisioners this long..if he would of been put to death in a timely manner..no problems would exist..just sayin'!

Mark Baumgardner
Mark Baumgardner

Why so botched? Why imprison someone 20 plus years only to kill them? The whole system is broken. Another black eye for Arizona.

azweasel
azweasel

No soup for you, Next !!!

Linda Brown
Linda Brown

Yikes. I agree with Judge Kozinsky. This is savage and brutal. I don't believe in the death penalty but as long as it is being done why not use the preferred and painless method of inhaling helium ?

Dave Demlong
Dave Demlong

he is dead, it was an execution, i say it was successful.

Derek Mason
Derek Mason

He's dead who cares if he suffered. Did his victims not suffer when he killed them.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

It's a good thing that the AZ Supremes put things on hold. What they realize and the U.S. Supreme Court didn't, is that Arizona pols, especially Gin Jan and HorneBoi is that a botched execution will have serious consequences... for them.

bunnywhiteboots
bunnywhiteboots

@66rock seriously! they gave that scumbag an extra hour and forty five minutes of life!!!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

@Pauliejuanakraquer One more vote for idiots that think in  1800's to be locked up in the state mental hospital!  Hope for a nice picture on your ID!

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

@fraufoust It costs more to execute someone than it does to keep them in jail dumbass.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

@bobby5527 Because this is Az which cannot do a thing right for some strange reason.  Either bring in the firing squads and do it right or don't do it at all.  

dennis20
dennis20 topcommenter

@bobby5527 Because we don't want to use safe and comfortable drugs. The purpose of these "cocktails" s to make sure they feel no relief as they pass. We could easily end his life painlessly. There are plenty of drugs available in large doses that would do it.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Don't have to care at all but not the issue.  We have a constitution, no cruel and unusual punishment, that is the issue.  We do not torture in this country, no matter who it is.

lastmeal
lastmeal

@eric.nelson745 as long as he ends up dead, it won't be a botched execution. now, let's get on with the festivities.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ @valleynative 

I'm not a member of the GOP and don't support their platforms.

Beyond that, what the fuck do politics have to do with medical science? I actually oppose the death penalty, but I do understand human physiology.


DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@66rock "We do not torture in this country, no matter who it is."


The U$A renders people to Gitmo and other foreign lands when they want to torture them.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@66rock ... ALL Government actions are a "political issue", you daft dipshit.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay @66rock Hey name caller, I don't need instruction from you.Yes,I know politics and this should not BE politized, it is an 8th amendment issue.  My husband works in government, my son is an actual office holder in another state, myself a former Illinois committee person so really don't need help from you but thanks.  Now tell me what this has to do with Gizmo? Nothing, that was my point. this story is about Arizona, not military or federal government

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