"Botched" execution in Arizona familiar issue in Oklahoma

{}An all too familiar case is raising more questions about death penalty procedures Oklahoma and across the country.The Arizona Department of Corrections said Thursday Joseph Wood's execution was not botched.{} Officials say Wood was comatose during the two hour ordeal Wednesday.{} They say noises witnesses described as gasping and struggling for breath, was actually Wood snoring.Witnesses said something was clearly wrong.Related: Controversy brews over drawn out execution in Arizona"It was tough for everybody in that room. At a certain point, you wondered if he was ever going to die," media witness Troy Hayden said.Compare that to what witnesses saw back on April 29, when Oklahoma executed Clayton Lockett.{} FOX 25's Chelsea Washington was one of those witnesses."I would say maybe about two or three minutes you saw the convulsing you saw the up and down you saw the licking of the lips you saw the lifting of the shoulders and the head," she said the day after that execution.Arizona used one of the drugs in its cocktail that Oklahoma used on Lockett. Both cases did not end as lethal injections are designed to."An execution should take a matter of minutes, not a matter of hours," FOX 25 legal analyst David Slane said.Slane said the case raises more questions about Oklahoma's death penalty procedures."I think what it does is it makes people realize that Oklahoma's not alone, that this is going to continue to happen from state to state," Slane said.Governor Mary Fallin called for a review Oklahoma's protocols after Lockett's failed execution.{} That review is still underway with no set deadline for results as Fallin's office does not want to rush it, a spokesperson for the governor said."That review should certainly include lessons learned from what other states are doing right, as well as events that have gone wrong in other states to ensure those incidents are not repeated in Oklahoma," spokesperson Alex Weintz said.The review is being conducted by the Department of Public Safety commissioner. {}That assignment has been criticized by some.{} Critics say it is not "independent" as the governor promised, as commission Michael Thompson was a witness to the Lockett execution and was appointed by Gov. Fallin.Fallin did ask an out-of-state medical examiner to perform the autopsy on Lockett."We have to have a truly independent investigation, to clear up any questions that might arise," Joe Dorman, Fallin's opponent in the upcoming election said.Dorman says the case in Arizona is only increasing a spot light on our "flaws." "This is going to hurt the use of the death penalty throughout the United States," he said."I think that we may begin to see things in federal court that call for moratoriums until we can find either the proper drugs to carry out executions or change the method of execution in the States," Slane said.One federal judge is already calling for the return to firing squads.In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said lethal injection was a "dishonest" attempt to disguise the brutal nature of capital punishment.Kozinski said properly trained firing squads are a "foolproof" way to quickly execute an inmate and avoid complications surrounding lethal injection.The failed cases, along with one earlier in the year in Ohio, will give inmates on death row more of a case to fight their lethal injections, Slane said."These cases have more credibility now. In the past it was 'oh it's just another death inmate trying to save his life. We're just trying to put it off,'" Slane said. "But the reality is now that the states are having problems with the executions."Lockett had been in a legal battle with the state up until his execution, over the secrecy surrounding lethal injection drugs, claiming a death in this matter would be considered cruel and unusual punishment.Charles Warner was in the same battle with Lockett. Their executions were scheduled back-to-back. Warner's was rescheduled to November as the death penalty review continues.
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