US Supreme Court Lethal Injection Case Could Affect Arizona Execution Drugs

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 3:36pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - 3:37pm
(Photo courtesy of Arizona Department of Corrections)
In July of 2014, Arizona inmate Joseph Wood was executed with midazolam and gasped for air for nearly two hours before his death.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case Wednesday about a lethal injection drug that Arizona uses to execute its prisoners. The drug in question, midazolam, has been used in what some are calling botched executions.

Florida, Ohio, Oklahoma and Arizona have used the drug for executions in the past two years.

In July of 2014, Arizona inmate Joseph Wood was executed with midazolam and gasped for air for nearly two hours before his death. That prompted a state review of the execution drugs, which still suggests using midazolam in combination with two other drugs. 

RELATED: Arizona May Have Even Harder Time Getting Execution Drugs

Attorney Dale Baich is involved in the multi-state case before the Supreme Court. He said this decision could have a direct impact on Arizona.

“If the court rules that midazolam cannot be used," Baich said. "Then the Arizona Department of Corrections will not be able to use that drug as part of its lethal injection protocol.”

The Arizona Department of Corrections did not respond to request for comment. A decision from the Supreme Court is expected this summer.

ARIZONA INMATES EXECUTED BY LETHAL INJECTION

Since 1993, 35 Arizona inmates have been executed by lethal injection.  Here are the drugs used in the 14 executions since 2010.

(Source: Federal Public Defender District of Arizona)

If you like this story, Donate Now!