Friday, August 08, 2014

No "Botched" Execution - Arizona (or Ohio)

No "Botched" Execution - Arizona (or Ohio)
Dudley Sharp

"In 1989, (Wood) hunted down and shot to death his former girlfriend, Debra Dietz, and her father, Eugene Dietz." (1)

"Debra Dietz's sister, Jeanne Brown, who was at the execution, said, 'Everybody here said (the execution) was excruciating. You don't know what excruciating is. Seeing your dad lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying there in a pool of blood, that's excruciating.'  " (1)

"No one who witnessed the execution has said Wood ever woke up. It simply took a long time for him to die." (1)

"(Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan) said IV lines in the inmate’s arms were “perfectly placed” and insisted that Wood felt no pain. " (2)

He is correct (3), there could have been no pain, only sedation, sleep, coma and death (with apnea, shortness of breath, wheezing, other noises, etc. common).

"Anesthesiology experts say they’re not surprised that the combination of drugs took so long to kill Wood." (2)

“This doesn’t actually sound like a botched execution. This actually sounds like a typical scenario if you used that drug combination,” said Karen Sibert, an anesthesiologist and associate professor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Sibert was speaking on behalf of the California Society of Anesthesiologists." (2)

"Dr. Zivot said that midazolam acts 'like a key in a lock,' attaching to a receptor in the body and causing sedation. Once the receptor is saturated, he said, 'it doesn’t matter if you give the person 500 additional doses or five million doses. It won’t have any more effect.'  " (4)

"The documents showed that Mr. Ryan personally directed the execution team to use the additional (14) doses. In his statement, Mr. Ryan said the doses ensured that '(Wood) remained deeply sedated throughout the process, and did not endure pain."  " (4).

For an equally peaceful death, but a quicker one, use  pentobarbital or nitrogen gas, the effects of which are well known.

“ '(Wood's) sedation level was continually monitored and verified by the IV team,' Mr. Ryan said. The intravenous team included a doctor, he said." (4)

Wood's breathing, wheezing and/or gasping is a product of respiratory distress, as expected.

That is easy for anyone to determine.

1) Interview neutral, competent anesthesiologists.
2) Review the pharmacological characteristics of the drugs and their overdosing symptoms.

Very basic. Very easy,  just as with the Ohio execution of Dennis McGuire (5), another case where folks jumped to the wrong conclusions.


For alleged ethical reasons, European pharmaceutical companies, as well as the European Union,  have denied US execution jurisdictions the use of preferred drugs sodium  thiopental, propofol and others, thereby, knowingly bringing greater risk of pain and suffering for death row murderers as well as putting more innocent patients at risk, in their effort to spare murderers lives, for which they have had no success,  even though they would not deny those same drugs for euthanasia or abortion, even though both are banned by the Hippocratic Oath, but the death penalty is not (6).


Nitrogen Gas; Flawless, peaceful, unrestricted method of execution


Also see:

The (Imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution

Clayton Lockett: The Case for Execution (Oklahoma)

1)   Execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood was NOT botched, EJ Montini, columnist,, 7/24/2014

2) "Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution", Associated Press, Washington Post, July 25, 2014

3) Autopsy doctor finds nothing out of the ordinary in inmate’s execution, Gary Grado  Arizona Capital Times, July 25, 2014.

4)   "Executed Arizona Inmate Got 15 Times Standard Dose, Lawyers Say", Fernanda Santos, New York Times,  AUG. 1, 2014

5)  The (Imagined) Horror of Dennis McGuire's Execution

6)  Physicians & The State Execution of Murderers: No Medical Ethics Dilemma