The transcript of the Wood v. Ryan telephone hearing for a Motion for Emergency Stay of Execution is available in Adobe .pdf format.
The Arizona Capitol Times reports, "Killer was given two doses of lethal injection drugs in ‘botched’ execution," by Gary Grado.
U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake was pulled away from a memorial for a recently deceased colleague and the phones to Gov. Jan Brewer and Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan were ringing furiously.
Meanwhile, Joseph Wood III, condemned for a 1989 double murder, lay unconscious, making sounds like snoring and seemingly gasping for air as his attorney and an assistant attorney general were on the phone with Wake so he could decide whether to stop the execution, according to a transcript of the 30-minute emergency hearing.
The hearing was called because Wood’s attorneys filed a motion to stop the execution and have life-saving measures performed on him after he was still alive and making noises and involuntary movements an hour into the procedure.
As the hearing was taking place, Wood finally died, rendering the motion to halt the execution moot.
"Executed Killer Joseph Wood Died In Middle of Emergency Hearing," is by Tracy Connor for NBC News.
An Arizona judge was in the middle of an emergency telephone hearing on the execution of Joseph Wood when word came that the inmate had finally died after more than an hour of what witnesses have described as gasping.
A transcript of the hearing shows that 45 minutes after defense lawyers filed a motion asking that Wood's execution be stopped because he was still alive, no decision had been made.
Today's Arizona Republic reports, "Arizona officials deny execution was botched." It's by Michael Kiefer, who witnessed the execution.
The director of the Arizona Department of Corrections said Thursday that the two-hour-long execution of death- row prisoner Joseph Rudolph Wood on Wednesday was not "botched" and called media reports to that effect "premature and erroneous."
But while Wood was gulping and snorting and dying on the execution gurney, Corrections Director Charles Ryan was on the phone with the Arizona Attorney General's Office, and he already had consulted with the general counsel of the Department of Corrections.
Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Zick was talking to Ryan when he was interrupted by a call from the U.S. District Court after Wood's attorney, Robin Konrad, pleaded with a federal judge to stop the execution, according to a transcript of the telephone hearing.
"2-hour execution rekindles US death penalty debate; lawyer assured judge that man felt no pain," is the Associated Press coverage, via Medicine Hat News.
A transcript of an emergency court hearing reveals that Arizona officials assured a judge during the nearly two-hour execution of a U.S. inmate that he was comatose and not feeling pain at any point.
Joseph Rudolph Wood gasped for about 90 minutes during his execution on Wednesday. The process took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency appeal while it continued.
The Guardian posts, "'Judge, I just learned that the IV team leader has confirmed Mr Wood’s death'," by Tom Dart.
The telephone call gives an insight into the sense of urgency, uncertainty and confusion surrounding Wood’s physical state and the appropriate official response as the execution dragged on. Robin Konrad, one of Wood’s legal team, attempted to convince Neil Wake, an Arizona district judge, to halt the execution and order prison officials to start lifesaving techniques.
Arizona’s execution protocol calls for trained medical personnel – who are not involved with the execution process – to be available nearby to respond to any medical emergency before the start of the execution, while any decision about whether to continue with the process if it is going awry is up to the director of the state department of corrections.
The National Journal posts, "Read the Lengthy Debate Over Whether to End Arizona's Botched Execution," by Dustin Volz.
"We have to deal with degrees of uncertainty, but it does not appear that with lack of physical reaction there is pain," Judge Neil Wake explained. "I am also concerned that if it were possible to suspend this in a better circumstance, I would be disposed to do that if it did not create even more risk of pain. It is not appearing to me that that is a realistic possibility at this time."
Near the transcript's conclusion, Jeffrey Zick, representing the Arizona attorney general's office, stops in mid-thought to announced that Wood has died.
Earlier coverage of Arizona botched execution begins with the preceding post.