Arizona Dept. of Corrections’ Director Charles Ryan issued a statement saying that there was no evidence so far to prove that the execution was botched.
Ryan said that the record showed the inmate “was fully and deeply sedated” three minutes after he was injected with the drugs and until he was declared dead nearly two hours later. The medical examiner told the department that the IVs were “perfectly placed” in Joseph Wood’s arms and that there was “no leakage of any kind.”
Acting on Governor Jan Brewer’s orders, Ryan said he was “committed to a thorough, transparent and comprehensive review process” regarding the length of time it took for the execution to be completed.
An Arizona Republic reporter who witnessed Wednesday’s execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood said the inmate “gasped” hundreds of times during the execution process.
The execution lasted nearly two hours:
The sister of one of Wood’s victims told reporters after the execution, “I don’t believe he was gasping for air.”
Jeane Brown, sister of victim Debbie Dietz, said Wood’s potential suffering was nothing compared to her family’s suffering, ABC 15 Arizona reported.
“This was nothing,” Brown said during a press conference following the execution. “I don’t believe he was gasping for air. I don’t believe he was suffering. This man deserved it.”
The Arizona Supreme Court has ordered that the state “preserve any drug labels and unused drugs pertaining to the execution of Mr. Wood.”
Dale Baich, attorney for Joseph Wood, issued a statement at 10:30 p.m. ET July 23 calling for an “independent investigation.”