NPR Story
12:32 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Controversy Over Two-Hour Execution In Arizona

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:39 am

Another problematic prison execution is further fueling debate over the death penalty in the U.S.

At a state prison in Florence, Ariz. yesterday, it took almost two hours for convicted double murderer Joseph Wood to die after he was injected with a combination of sedative and painkiller. This problematic execution follows the one in Oklahoma that went awry in April.

But there’s a difference of opinion as to whether the Arizona execution was also miscalculated. Some witnesses say Wood was gasping for air, while others say he was snoring. Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer says she’s concerned about how “justice was carried out,” and has ordered a full review.

Michael Kiefer, a senior reporter for the Arizona Republic newspaper, witnessed the execution and joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to discuss the controversy.

Guest

  • Michael Kiefer, courts and legal writer for the Arizona Republic newspaper. He’s also a novelist and travel writer. He tweets @michaelbkiefer.
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