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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Report: Arizona Inmate "Gasping" For Breath During Two-Hour-Long Execution

Posted by on Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM

The Guardian:

Lawyers for a convicted killer filed an emergency court appeal on Wednesday to stop his execution, claiming that he was alive and gasping more than an hour after the state of Arizona began the process of killing him.

Attorneys for Joseph Wood said in the court filing that he had been "gasping and snoring for more than an hour", but had not yet died.

"We respectfully request that this court stop the execution and require that the Department of Corrections use the lifesaving provisions required in its protocol," the laywers said.

At 7pm ET, it was not clear whether Wood was alive or dead.

Just now, via Buzzfeed:


Comments (40) RSS

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MacCrocodile 1
Good luck getting Arizona's leadership to openly give a shit about prisoners' living (and dying) conditions.
Posted by MacCrocodile on July 23, 2014 at 4:48 PM · Report this
Posted by tkc on July 23, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
disintegrator 3
Jesus. Either abolish it or just shoot him in the head already.
Posted by disintegrator on July 23, 2014 at 4:55 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 4
how dare those euros refuse us our preferred execution drugs!
Posted by Max Solomon on July 23, 2014 at 5:00 PM · Report this
You're breaking my heart. That is very inefficient though and bullets are cheap.
Posted by robot ghost on July 23, 2014 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 6
What the fuck. The guillotine would be less barbaric than this horror show.

In the abstract, I can't generate a whole lot of sympathy for murderers, and don't object to the idea of a death penalty. However, as it is practiced in this country, it is mess. It is unevenly used more often against minorities and the poor, the decades-long process is a travesty, the Innocence Project has shown us that we occasionally convict (and execute) the wrong people, and now we're seeing the fallacy of "humane" executions gone awry.

This shit needs to end.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 23, 2014 at 5:31 PM · Report this
I wonder how the two victim's families feel about the barbaric nature of this murdering scumbag's execution?

Has anyone asked them or is this just a bunch of liberal navel gazing?
Posted by CPN on July 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM · Report this
MajordomoPicard 8
@7 Keep the bloodlust flowing. Meanwhile, the rest of us will remember that the way we treat our very worst is a good indicator of what separates us from them in the first place. You... not so much.
Posted by MajordomoPicard on July 23, 2014 at 5:59 PM · Report this
The Dopest 9
I'm opposed to capital punishment merely based on the fact that it costs taxpayers so many millions per execution. . . but why is it so hard to kill a man with an injection? Have they not heard of heroin? It's proven effective! Just take the LD50 dose, quintuple it, and boom. Simple, cheap, and humane as fuck.
Posted by The Dopest on July 23, 2014 at 6:03 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 10
The people who imagine that the death penalty is some sort of revenge, or even justice, lack imagination.

I have a dear friend who was shot by some dumb teenager in front of a bunch of innocent bystanders in a restaurant in Iowa. She herself was just a teenager, working her first "real" job. Iowa does not have the death penalty, so the killer was sent to prison for life with no possibility of parole.

I hope he lives a long, long life, seeing the outside world go on and giving him plenty of time to think about what he did not only to her, but to himself, and to everyone who had to witness that.

I hope he gets to the point where he is ready to die, but is kept alive by an impersonal bureaucracy. And when his time comes, I hope he is alone, in some prison hospital, with no fanfare, no media coverage, no celebration on the part of some of our more basic citizens (like they do in Texas). Just a broken old man, with a long, wasted life behind him, a little terrified about what comes next.

That, my dears, is real vengeance.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on July 23, 2014 at 6:25 PM · Report this
"Wood was convicted of the 1989 murders of his estranged girlfriend Debra Dietz and her father Eugene Dietz."

you mean like his victims did?

Posted by balmontguy on July 23, 2014 at 6:34 PM · Report this
There's a difference between condoning stuff like this across the board and not caring when it happens to real pieces of shit. Yeah it could've happened to an innocent person, but it didn't, so big whoop and good riddance.
Posted by The CHZA on July 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 13
@9: because the drugs used to come from europe, and worked great. but they are refusing to provide them. so now they're having to find 'merkin compounding pharmacies willing to mix up the drugs. and they do a bad job.
Posted by Max Solomon on July 23, 2014 at 8:07 PM · Report this
The guy murdered two people. I have exactly zero sympathy for him.
Posted by Chali2Na on July 23, 2014 at 8:42 PM · Report this
He was a horrible person and I'm glad it happened and now we can consume his flesh and gain his powers. Crawling in my skin. These wounds they will not heal.
Posted by GermanSausage on July 23, 2014 at 9:09 PM · Report this
sloegin 16
It is possible to be in favor of justice without being a sociopath about it.
Posted by sloegin on July 23, 2014 at 9:34 PM · Report this
Really? Because you sure wouldn't know it from reading this thread. Bunch of psychopaths.
Posted by Pope Buck I on July 23, 2014 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Teslick 18
Catalina, @10, is again 100% correct. A long slow death via old age is a "better" punishment. As Red said in "Shawshank Redemption": "They send you here for life, and that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyway."
Posted by Teslick on July 23, 2014 at 10:02 PM · Report this
Fuck you.

Wait, let me make it clearer....

Fuck. You.

Opposing capital punishment looks good on paper for the typical liberal. I am not your typical liberal.

When I first moved to Washington in 1983, the first friend I ever knew here, the only friend I had, was kidnapped and brutally raped and murdered with a claw framing hammer.

Her body was discovered 300 yards from my house and when the authorities caught the bastard, I sat in with her family at times during his trial, which at the time was the largest forensic evidence trial in the history of Washington State.

I was there and saw what her murder and subsequent trial did to her family.

For me, the death penalty isn't about deterrence. It's about retribution and... you got it, bloodlust. I'd be the first one in line to be his executioner and I'd happily kill that motherfucker myself. Then I'd have a cold beer and sleep like a baby.

So. Having said that, #8. Go fuck yourself. Please.

Then go look up Brian Keith Lord.
Posted by CPN on July 23, 2014 at 10:27 PM · Report this
Ernie1 20
Just saw a clip of his victim's family member on the news:

"The witnesses said it was excruciating? I'll tell you what is excruciating, seeing your father laying dead in a pool of blood. Seeing your sister laying dead in a pool of blood. That's excruciating."

Definitely gives some perspective.

I oppose the death penalty, but if they are going to do it, at least do it right.
Posted by Ernie1 on July 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM · Report this
@19: We need less retribution in our criminal system, and more justice and rehabilitation. There'd be way less crime and violence.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on July 23, 2014 at 10:38 PM · Report this
As mentioned earlier in this thread the French came up with the most humane way to kill someone. Yeah a bullet straight to the head will work too but IDK seems to me that lacks a certain elegance. It is at its core a barbaric act why not dress it up a bit with a nice hand crafted tool for the job complete with carvings, a big ceremony, I know let's build a ziggurat to do it on top of.

Killing someone is best when it is ritualized.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM · Report this
seatackled 23

I looked up Lord. Sorry to the family and friends for their loss, but I'm pretty comfortable with Lord getting LWOP, and though you might find pleasure with Lord's death, especially if it's violent, it doesn't sound like it would bring you any peace or make you a better person.
Posted by seatackled on July 24, 2014 at 3:58 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 24
I'm glad most of the commentators are 100% sure that there will never be any way this guy will end up being shown to have not committed the crimes he was slowly killed for. And given all we have heard about Arizona over the past few years we can all be sure that state is known as the most just place on the planet so there clearly is no chance of any miscarriage of justice.

It's comment threads like this which require each commentator to list their first and last names and their addresses.
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 24, 2014 at 4:05 AM · Report this
AFinch 25
@8 - +1.

Nobody is saying these animals should be free, but eye-for-an-eye bloodlust is not the answer.

@"Fuck You" (19, CPN) - by your logic the correct answer is to give the victim's vamily and friends something like, I dunno, chainsaws? And let them hack the guy up while he's strapped to a chair? That's going to accomplish what?

This guy should have been left to rot. LIfe in prison is not somehow getting off...long term incarceration with no hope of release is a long slow, insanity inducing chance to reflect on one's crimes. That, and it's ultimately a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than making sure the death apparatus is error free.

Yes, if we are going to engage in killing people, then a bullet to the brain or the guillotine are vastly preferable. Let's bring back public executions and be honest about what we are doing; who knows, maybe the imaginary "deterrent effect" will actually appear.
Posted by AFinch on July 24, 2014 at 5:46 AM · Report this
I only support the death penalty for revenge. These bastards deserve what they get.

Lethal injection became a thing in order to meet the pansies halfway. Fuck that. Shoot'em and be done with it.
Posted by seatownr on July 24, 2014 at 8:25 AM · Report this
lark 27
@10 & @25,
You have excellent points. As a reluctant supporter of Capital Punishment, I support it as a deterrent. The convicted killer never gets to kill again if put to death. Reveiw the case of Jack Henry Abbott.

I can be swayed, however. If the state can guarantee life in prison w/o any possibility of parole for even the most heinous killers (war criminals, mass murderers etc.) then fine. What absolutely mystifies me is how convicted murderers are released and proceed to kill again. I believe for most proponents of CP it isn't vengeance per se. It is that they don't want the convict to kill again. If the state can somehow muster that option guarantee, then we might find CP less appealing.

I agree yesterday's execution in Arizona was horrible. A bullet in the head would have been far more humane. But, I have no empathy for Joseph Wood. His victim suffered more and didn't deserve his torment or her death.
Posted by lark on July 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 28
Lark dear, that's the thing. In Iowa, in lieu of death, you are sentenced to life with no possibility of parole.

The nice thing about that setup is that if the person turns out to be innocent, all you've done is taken whatever years they were behind bars away from them. You haven't killed them.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on July 24, 2014 at 10:18 AM · Report this
I sympathize with friends and family of victims who want the death penalty. Since becoming a parent, and letting my imagination go just a little bit, I have a much better understanding for why people feel the need for closure/revenge/whatever you want to call it.

But I want to live in a society in which legal decisions are not made based on the emotional needs of individuals (however justified their feelings); but are made based on what is best for society, and what promotes a more humane world, and what allows room for the uncertainties of the legal process (i.e. wrongful conviction). I also believe that even perpetrators of terrible crimes have the capacity to change, even in the context of life without parole, and that an acceptance of a possibility of people to change (that is, grow; have remorse; repent) promotes a healthier attitude in our world, compared to the evil/good binary.
Posted by Jude Fawley on July 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM · Report this
lark 30
@28 Catalina,
Right. I can agree to that.

BTW, one thing about convicts purporting to claim innocence while on Death Row. Many, many have. And abolition of CP proponents have made great efforts to find at least one "convict" wrongfully executed since 77'. My understanding is they have yet to find one. I am aware about the Willingham case in Texas.

However, I do recall a case in Virginia (?) many years ago that I read about where a convict pleaded innocent, was put to death but was subsequently discovered to actually have committed the crime via DNA testing. I found out then that it is far easier to lie than it is to kill. I have great reservations about some of these convicts claiming innocence while on Death Row. Rarely do they claim guilt.
Posted by lark on July 24, 2014 at 10:58 AM · Report this
@30, obviously just because they say they are innocent, it does not mean that they are. The problem is that you don't know which ones might be (however 'guilty' they look). If you were wrongfully convicted, you would plead your innocence too. Read this article about Glen Ford, freed after 30 years on death row.…

Without a lot of luck and support, this innocent man would be dead.

All that said, I don't think wrongful convictions are the only reason to eliminate the death penalty; but it is a pretty good reason.
Posted by Jude Fawley on July 24, 2014 at 11:09 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 32
The reason we use lethal injection is because it's supposed to be humane, right?

It doesn't seem to work.

I don't believe in the death penalty, but bring back the long drop hanging, the bullet to the back of the head, or the guillotine. They've got a 100% success rate.
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on July 24, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
MajordomoPicard 33
@19 you make it very easy not to take your "argument" seriously. Emotional appeals and hostile outbursts do not a valid point make. I'm very sorry that happened to you. Howling for vengeance accomplishes nothing, though, no matter what sort of pleasure you think you'd derive from it. Get help to overcome your anger issues and whatever trauma remain from your horrible experience. The law has to be cool, methodical, and unemotional in its response because people generally aren't.
Posted by MajordomoPicard on July 24, 2014 at 2:23 PM · Report this
thelyamhound 34
@19 - I get you. I'd like to think I'd be munificent if I lost someone close to me, but really, the chances are that if I could get hold of the blighter, and had enough of what passes for certainty in this world, they'd be finding pieces of him over five or six states.

And I'd expect to be punished for that.

I absolutely think that there are people who deserve to die. In my universe, those include people who watch Two and a Half Men and lay down money for albums by the Eagles. Given that I trust my own faculties considerably more than I trust anyone else's, if I can't rely on my own ability to make life & death distinctions, I really doubt I'm going to trust the faculties of the average voter or 12 "peers" sitting on a jury (let alone an autocratic judge sitting on the bench).

Democracy really is the best of all the bad options for governance; that is, there's really no nobility in the collective enterprise of the flatworms with thumbs that we collectively call humanity. I just don't trust our individual or collective capacity to revoke the one more or less universal agreement--the valuation of human life--due to legitimately extenuating circumstances, even if those circumstances are the ignoring of the directive itself by a rogue agent.
Posted by thelyamhound on July 24, 2014 at 2:25 PM · Report this
My son was robbed and murdered yet I still do not understand all this bloodlust. The best I can hope for is a society where the rest if us can be protected from those with so little regard for life. CP is a waste of resources and accomplishes nothing- maybe even shortens the "price" a perpetrator has to endure by shortening the days they have to live with what they have done.
Posted by good vagina on July 24, 2014 at 3:11 PM · Report this
collectivism_sucks 36
I'm a libertarian, and I hardly trust the government to pave a road right. So why the fuck should I trust the government to A) execute someone humanly and B) only execute the right person every time?
End the Death penalty.
Posted by collectivism_sucks on July 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM · Report this
venomlash 37
@36: Are you saying that who is executed and the method by which they are dispatched should be left to market forces?
I agree that the death penalty should be either abolished or used only in the most extreme of cases, but your reasoning of "we can't trust the government" seems a bit forced. For me it's more "we can never be 100% sure", but I guess when all you have is a libertarian hammer, everything looks like a free-market nail.
Posted by venomlash on July 24, 2014 at 11:24 PM · Report this

You can fuck yourself as well.
Posted by CPN on July 26, 2014 at 9:11 PM · Report this

I don't believe you. Prove it.
Posted by CPN on July 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM · Report this

There is no 'rehabilitating' a monster who kidnaps a 14 year-old girl walking home after school and brutally rapes her and then bashes in her skull with the claw of a framing hammer and then dumps her body in a ditch.

I was only 16 and this shit changed me for life.

Perhaps you can just give Brian Keith Lord a big hug and then go fuck yourself as well.
Posted by CPN on July 26, 2014 at 9:18 PM · Report this

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