Arizona Department of Corrections To Change Drugs Used In Lethal Injection

By Carrie Jung
Published: Monday, December 22, 2014 - 5:53pm

The Arizona Department of Corrections has decided to change the drugs used in lethal injections following a controversial execution earlier this year. The decision was announced in a letter to the Governor on Monday.

The execution drugs used in Arizona came under scrutiny after death-row inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood was observed gasping for breath for almost two hours while being put to death in July.  

A review panel made up of former corrections directors and experts determined all procedures were followed correctly but recommended changes to the two-drug combination the state used.

Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Doug Nick said they’ll go back to using a single drug, either Pentobarbital or Sodium Pentothal. But since those drugs can be difficult to acquire, officials will consider another option.  

"We will be looking at a three-drug protocol that has been used successfully in the state of Florida and some other jurisdictions this year," Nick said.

Wood’s attorneys disagreed with the report’s findings, but did not comment on the drug change. 

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