Prison Officials Violated Protocol by Giving 15 Doses of Lethal-Injection Drug, Attorney Says

Categories: News
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Matthew Hendley


Convicted murderer Joseph Wood was given 15 doses of lethal-injection drugs during the course of an execution that lasted nearly two hours on July 23.

This appears to be a violation of the state's lethal-injection protocol, which says "an additional dose of the lethal chemical(s)" may be used if the first dose doesn't work.

"There's nothing in the protocol that allows for 13 additional doses of the drug to be administered," Wood's attorney Dale Baich tells New Times.

See also:
-Governor, Prison Chief Claim There Was No Suffering in 2-Hour Execution

The Arizona Department of Corrections released records related to Wood's execution, revealing the 15 doses of hydromorphone and 50 milligrams of midazolam were needed to kill Wood, for killing his estranged girlfriend and her father 25 years ago. The execution was the first in Arizona using those two drugs.

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Part of the "Correctional Service Log" showing when the last of 15 doses of lethal-injection drugs were administered.
"It was an experiment that failed," Baich says. "The [Arizona] Department of Corrections said that one dose was sufficient to carry out the execution, and it was wrong."

Reporters who witnessed the execution described Wood gasping for air hundreds of times, although Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan says Wood was unconscious the entire time and never in pain.

However, as Wood failed to die, his attorneys attempted to get a judge to halt the execution. Wood's condition continued to deteriorate as attorneys were on the phone with the federal judge, and Wood eventually died before the judge made his ruling to let the execution continue.

However, it wasn't revealed to Baich until a few days ago that it had taken 15 doses to kill Wood.

Despite Baich's belief that only two doses are allowed, the Department of Corrections sent us a statement saying the doses were within protocol:
These records indicate the length of the procedure and the amount of drugs administered comply with the department's mandate under state law to administer "...an intravenous injection of a substance or substances in a lethal quantity sufficient to cause death, under the supervision of the state department of corrections." (A.R.S. § 13-757(A))
Here's exactly what the department's policy on extra injections states:
5. If, after three minutes, the inmate remains conscious, the IV Team shall communicate this information to the Director, along with all IV Team input. The Director will determine how to proceed or, if necessary, to start the procedure over at a later time or stand down. The Director may direct the curtains to the witness viewing room be closed, and, if necessary, for witnesses to be removed from the facility.

6. If deemed appropriate, the Director may instruct the Special Operations Team to administer an additional dose of the lethal chemical(s) followed by the Heparin/Saline flush.
We asked the Department of Corrections spokesman about the department's policy regarding the doses, and Ryan's apparent decision not to stop the execution, despite having the power to do so.

Spokesman Doug Nick tells us he has nothing to add, other than a statement released to the media that says there will be an independent review of the execution, and states that, "The administration of these drugs is permitted under Department Order 710." (That's the same order that appears to say only one additional dose may be used.)

Again, the department's statement insists that Wood "remained deeply sedated throughout the process, and did not endure pain."

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126 comments
Joseph E Lunt
Joseph E Lunt

If u violate one protocol u will have no trouble violating another and another it's contagious

Clara Flores
Clara Flores

Considering he could've been taken care of with a hammer. He got off with with 15 doses.

Mike Bowers
Mike Bowers

I'm not defending this guy. Let's not take this out of context. I'm simply stating that the law protects all Americans from receiving cruel forms of punishment. Otherwise, putting someone to death by having an elephant sit on them would be appropriate to a sentence. We as Americans swore to never become like our tyrants. We are just people for a just cause. So perhaps LISTEN to the words I am saying, and not fill in the gaps as I am somehow defending this piece of scum. If you would like to CHANGE our bill of rights, take it up with congress and the president. Maybe we can have public beheadings and go back to torture. Lets just hope the accused is guilty and not wrongly convicted....\

Cheryl A Feather
Cheryl A Feather

Did this murderer Joseph Woods think about cruel and unusual punishment when he was murdering his victim? ????? He earned his death sentence so stop blubbering over it you fools.

Roberta McCalmon
Roberta McCalmon

perhaps you might like to trade the positions with the victims.... that's right they were killed by cruel and unusual punishment that NOBODY deserves (to quote you).

Mike Bowers
Mike Bowers

Nobody will ever know what he felt or thought. The point still stands, "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

Gerry Valenzuela
Gerry Valenzuela

I do too. But like Mike Bowers says. "Mike Bowers NOBODY deserves a cruel or unusual punishment. It's funny how people choose which constitutional rights to stand behind. Your 8th is just as important as [t]he[sic] 2nd...."

Rob Zoller
Rob Zoller

if they gave him 14 would he have died slower and more painfully?

Andrea Releaseoftalibancommanders Zumsteg
Andrea Releaseoftalibancommanders Zumsteg

@ BTC ....WOW.... Brian did NOT mention whether he had sympathy for the killer or not....and then gets called human garbage. Real classy there BTC, real classy!

Sean McGuire
Sean McGuire

I say eye for an eye, so this is far less worse.

Mea C Ulpa
Mea C Ulpa

Did they test that guy for meth?

Bryan Jorgenson Wallis Hardie
Bryan Jorgenson Wallis Hardie

It's not about sympathy for this guy, it's about as a society, do we feel this is the right behavior for the state to carry out.

rh19541954
rh19541954

I venture most sadists have police records for spousal abuse, child abuse, failure to pay child support, assaults of various types, which begs to question their posting is amusing since their morality, ethics are only one step below these executed individuals, the most amusing thing to me is two types of people have a unique opportunity to repent of their sins, and no chance of back sliding into sin, the terminally ill who know they have days, weeks, or the condemned who know their moment, day and hour! It drives the non-Christians bonkers, the lip service Christian blind biblical goats insane to imagine someone they hate so fervently, with such gusto might end up where they might not since most of us will feel the grim reapers arrival with no warning at all!

rh19541954
rh19541954

We do have two types of citizens in America, and they have existed since mankind crawled out of the caves and formed communities, cities etc., they are simply non-sadists and sadists! Now in a bygone era one was killed, executed in many forms stoning by rocks, burning at the stake alive etc.! The old Kings of England had a cute treatment of being "drawn and quartered" one was hanged till almost dead, then put on a table disemboweled alive, for males sexual organs were cut off, not sure what they did to the ladies, eventually you were cut into four pieces and left to rot for public view! A famous 1700's era writer wrote of a mass public hanging in old England of pick pockets which was a capital crime then, he noted the cheering crowds of happy and eager viewers of the executions were being worked by bands of pick pockets whom seemed to have no fear of their activities during the hangings of their fellows in their profession! In our own past we hanged folks, shot them etc., one can still find the lynch mob photos of early 1900's on into 1930's of lynch mobs smiling, laughing jeering at hanged bodies often folks of color, often mutilated before hanging! it takes no rocket scientist to figure who posts here or any site whom fits the sadist category, or who does not! In fact if tickets were sold today they would eagerly go and buy them to watch something their demented, depraved souls enjoy and they hide behind fake patriotism, fake belief in justice etc.! In another era they would have sat in a Roman Arena and enjoyed the days events with eagerness!

Mark Baronner
Mark Baronner

I prefer the older, more elegant method of having a cobra bite the convicted on the genitalia until dead.

Kevin Jay Clapper
Kevin Jay Clapper

In the absence of 100% certainty that anyone put to death by the state is guilty, I am absolutely against the death penalty. In this wonderfully under educated state called Arizona, I'm aware that puts me in the minority. But fuck, who wants to be like these people? Unless it's in providing for the common defense, the state shouldn't be killing anyone. Period...especially when it seems the police are becoming increasingly corrupt.

DNichols
DNichols

Lethal Injection is too inhumane for ruthless killers, I think if the first dose fails a knife should be injected through the ear, and twisted  to finish the job.



Allen Moore
Allen Moore

One hollow point is cheaper, and more effective.

Michael Diehl
Michael Diehl

Not at all. He got alittle taste of what he did to his victims. The physical and mental torture his victims went thru, he felt it also

Ruth Wilson
Ruth Wilson

Oh, the irony of the death penalty. It unfairly victimizes society when we 'have to' kill people. Some folks seem to find such pleasure in the very idea of it and become blood thirsty which is also disturbing.

Jason Erickson
Jason Erickson

So what. He's convicted murderer. They all should suffer. I say bring back the guillotine and do it in public. Why should we pay to feed, house, and cloth them? They should be executed the same day of conviction. It would save billions that could go to schools and health care.

Caroline Neely
Caroline Neely

I am not sure what it is that is flawed in your opinion about my response Ryan. The way the law is supposed to function is that the majority agree on the law and it is enforced. We are not supposed to pick and choose when or where we enforce them. If the popular opinion is contrary to the existing law then the new majority is supposed to change the existing law to support the majority. This isn't a question of vengeance or empathy. It is a question of did they follow the law, the answer is no, they did not. The problem with believing the inmate deserved this and they were right is it undermines the process of law in this country. I for one believe this happens to often in regards to many things.

Sandy Leon
Sandy Leon

Hey if you don't wish to be executed don't kill other people it's that simple. Sorry not sorry no sympathy for the killer here

Robert Allen Klinghagen
Robert Allen Klinghagen

They should have to suffer the same fate as their victims period . If someone happens to have tortured their victims they themselves should be tortured as well . Ill catch grief from the Liberals on here But I ask all of you one Question had it been your LOVED ONE WIFE OR CHILD that they murdered tell me you would not want the same to happen to them ???

Edward Anthony Green
Edward Anthony Green

B Thomas Cooper do you even realize what you just posted??? Ironic isn't it? B Thomas Cooper quotes: "People who support the death penalty are human garbage!" ...yet she just told me to "kill" myself....Liberal Logic at its finest! .....time for your med's dear, and good luck.

B Thomas Cooper
B Thomas Cooper

That's not what happened at all! Can't you read? Just how fucking stupid are you?

B Thomas Cooper
B Thomas Cooper

You are human garbage! The world will be a better place when you put that gun in your mouth and send a bullet sailing through that sick little brain of yours!

B Thomas Cooper
B Thomas Cooper

People who support the death penalty are human garbage!

Eva Quomsieh Leih
Eva Quomsieh Leih

Everyone will die eventually. Some of us suffer before we die and others go right away. For this guy he had to suffer, that's the way our lives work. Karma is a bitch.

Mike Bowers
Mike Bowers

There is no such thing. I simply don't believe in torture.

DNichols
DNichols

Wood "victimized society" it is disturbing that some don't believe in facing "Justice" for heinous crimes.

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