Joseph Wood was the last person executed in Arizona. It was July 23, 2014, and it took the state nearly two hours to put him to death.
Dale Baich was one of Wood’s attorneys. He witnessed the execution.
“After about nine minutes, his mouth opened wide, his head moved up against the restraints, he bucked up against the straps and he started gulping and gasping,” Wood tells News 4 Tucson.
Five years and a lawsuit later, a settlement in court made a lethal injection cocktail of two different drugs a thing of the Now, the state has agreed to use one drug: Pentobarbital.
Recently, the U.S. justice department said it would resume capital punishment.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich thinks it’s time Arizona revive the death penalty as well. He wrote this letter in support of reinstating capital punishment to Gov. Doug Ducey:
But death penalty opponents are concerned.
Emily Skinner is the Assistant Director of the Arizona Capital Representation Project, a non-profit that works with death row inmates to improve their defense.
“I’m worried about the lack of transparency that Arizona has shown in the past with regards to where it was getting the drugs, what drugs it was using and the qualifications of the people who would be administering the drugs,” Skinner said. “In Arizona, we do have natural life sentences and those tend to resolve more quickly.”
More than 100 people are on death row right now in Arizona.
Brnonvich said 14 of the inmates have exhausted their appeals.