Arizona prison chief says execution wasn't botched

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azfamily.com

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 24 at 6:10 PM

PHOENIX (AP) -- Arizona's prisons chief says Wednesday's nearly two-hour execution of a murderer was not botched and the inmate was never in pain.

Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan read a statement outside his office Thursday amid outcry over the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood.

He dismissed what he called a "premature and erroneous conclusion" that it was a botched execution. He called that portrayal "pure conjecture."

He also said the IV lines were perfectly placed in Wood's arm and there were no complications.

A review of the execution is still underway, and Ryan says the Arizona attorney general's office will not seek any death warrants until it's completed.

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DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS STATEMENT ON REVIEW OF JULY 23 EXECUTION
Thursday, July 24, 2014

PHOENIX (Thursday, July 24, 2014) - Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan today issued a statement regarding the review of the execution of inmate Joseph Wood, ADC #086279:

"Immediately upon completion of the execution of inmate Wood, Governor Brewer directed me to conduct a full review of the execution and the protocol. This protocol is on the department website at azcorrections.gov. Accordingly, I ordered that all evidence connected to the execution procedure be collected and preserved for review and investigation.  This occurred prior to any court order to do so, and that review is already underway. 

Media reports, some of which were made prior to any information officially being released on the day of the execution, reached the premature and erroneous conclusion that this execution was 'botched'.  This is pure conjecture because there is no medical or forensic evidence to date that supports that conclusion. 

In fact, the evidence gathered thus far supports the opposite. The IV team, which includes a licensed medical doctor, verified multiple times during the procedure that the inmate was comatose and never in pain.  The record clearly shows the inmate was fully and deeply sedated beginning at 1:57 PM - three minutes after the administration of the execution drugs - until he was declared deceased at 3:49 PM. 

Additionally, the physical autopsy from the Pima County Medical Examiner was completed this morning.  The Medical Examiner reported to the department that in regards to the placement of the IVs, they were 'perfectly placed'.  He further explained to the department that the catheters in each arm were completely within the veins and there was no leakage of any kind, and that anything that was put through the IVs went into the veins.  The department is also awaiting the results of the Medical Examiner's toxicology report.

Pursuant to the Governor's instruction, I am committed to a thorough, transparent and comprehensive review process.  We will ensure all the facts are gathered and that fact-based conclusions are reached regarding the length of time it took for the execution to be lawfully completed.  I have also been advised by the Arizona Attorney General that his office will not seek any warrants of execution prior to the completion of the review of this matter."

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Arizona inmate dies 2 hours after execution began

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