Interview: Two Hours In, Arizona Botches Execution


A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne’s office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

Wood’s lawyers had filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour.”

Attorney’s had used a variety of arguments to try to get things stopped prior on Constitutional grounds, but failed. However, the “cruel and unusual punishment” argument may get a reconsidered look after this incident.

ABC News correspondent Jim Ryan joined us for more details.

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