Lawyers File Briefs In SCOTUS Execution Drug Case

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 6:03pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 8:35am
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Corrections)
Joseph Wood was executed on July 23, 2014.

Lawyers filed briefs for the United States Supreme Court case about a drug used in what some are calling botched executions. Midazolam is still used in Arizona’s executions.

Former Arizona inmate Joseph Wood’s execution last July took nearly two hours. He was given 750 milligrams of midazolam, which is a dose nearly double what is used in other states.

During his execution, media witnesses reported Wood gasped for air nearly 650 times. Former Gov. Jan Brewer ordered an investigation into his execution. The resulting report recommended the Department of Corrections use a different drug combination for future executions.

The changed drug protocol still includes midazolam, which Wood’s attorneys said was the source of the botched execution. They are arguing the drug isn’t strong enough for executions.

Oral arguments are scheduled for the end of April.

If you like this story, Donate Now!