AZ Inmate Given 15 x Recommended Drug Dosages

Records released in Arizona's botched 2 hour execution show inmate Joseph Wood was injected with 15 times the amount of lethal injection drugs called for by Arizona's death protocol.

“The Arizona execution protocol explicitly states that a prisoner will be executed using 50 milligrams of hydromorphone and 50 milligrams of midazolam,” Dale A. Baich, one of the lawyers who represented Mr. Wood, said in a statement.

...Mr. Wood was injected with 750 milligrams of hydromorphone and 750 milligrams of midazolam in all.

It was expected that Wood would be dead in 10 minutes. It took almost 2 hours. [More...]

While an outside investigator is being sought to conduct the inquiry into what went wrong, Charles Ryan, the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections is still defending the execution:

Mr. Ryan justified the use of repeated doses of the drugs by citing a state law authorizing “an intravenous injection of substance or substances in lethal quantity sufficient to cause death.”

The released records show Ryan personally supervised the execution and gave the order for additional dosages to be administered.

According to Joel Zivot, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and surgery at Emory University Hospital, Arizona is just winging it, making it up as it goes along. Also,

[M]idazolam acts “like a key in a lock,” attaching to a receptor in the body and causing sedation. Once the receptor is saturated, he said, “it doesn’t matter if you give the person 500 additional doses or five million doses. It won’t have any more effect.”

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  • Display: Sort:
    What I "love" most about this argument (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:18:58 AM EST
    Nobody ever seems to consider what it does to the LIVING to carry these wretched acts out. The judge in AZ last week, I think it was, who said the guillotine or hanging would seem to be the most "humane" ways to kill the convicted, and yet even this halfwit couldn't make the connection between state sanctioned murder and those who must carry it out. Do YOU want to be the person picking up that severed head, or taking down that hung body with its "hangman's fracture" of the neck? Of course we wouldn't. But we can't get past our need for vengeance. Not that I don't understand the desire for revenge when our loved ones are butchered, just that, you know, I don't think revenge should be the focus of the judicial system.

    I don't (none / 0) (#3)
    by lentinel on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:45:38 AM EST
    know what the focus is for the State when it indulges its lust for putting people to death.

    Sometimes they seem gleeful.
    Sometimes hellbent on getting it done - before any possible stay could interrupt their beam.

    In terms of efficacy, it seems to me that the guillotine is much more humane. No two hours of agony or even 10 minutes. (As far a I know anyway - not having had access to the potential thoughts in the brain of a severed head...)

    But - ick. So grizzly. A severed head. As you said, who's gonna want to pick it up... actually I believe it went into a bucket or basket in the good old days. Maybe they could have it just go down some chute into an incinerator. I'm sure someone could come up with a clean sanitized guillotine. But, ick none the less.

    I suppose the image of a sedative being administered, the convict "going to sleep" - (albeit a long one) is what is supposed to be the attraction of the lethal cocktail. But it's not working out that way.

    Of course they could just drop the doomed felon from a plane over the ocean. Or a retired hit man could be engaged to give a badabing or two - and it's over.

    What I think is driving the State in its insane search for a "humane" killing method is its love of ritual. The priest leading the condemned slowly to the chair. The last meal. The whole  mishegas.

    Just opening a trap door into a vat of acid wouldn't quite do it.


    Only socipaths would sign up... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:58:30 AM EST
    ...for picking-up-severed-head-duty, those people who get off from it. Also, there is some evidence that for a few moments after the "humane" guillotine-ing, that the human head can remain conscious. Now THAT would be horrible. To know you area nothing but a decapitated and tumbling head, plummeting into a basket. Egad.

    I agree (none / 0) (#11)
    by lentinel on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 03:08:02 AM EST
    about the sociopaths signing up for duty...

    but in a lousy economy - it seems as if there are enough people willing to do the sh-twork in order to survive.


    Insight (5.00 / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:46:47 AM EST
    Well lentinel, if you want to understand the focus of the State regarding lust for death to criminals, think of your own words and feelings regarding Bush and Cheney and their cronies.

    That may be a start of comprehending the madness of others who relish the death and suffering of criminals.

    I think that the half hearted attempts to make execution more humane is meant as a type of lip service to those against the death penalty. Which is sadly obvious; think of how little suffering fido has when he is put down at the vet.


    Supposedly (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:49:44 AM EST
    The reason for the invention of the gas chambers in WWII was that they were worried about getting soldiers to kill thousands of women and children day in and day out by herding them into ditches ISIS style.
    Maybe it's not bad thing that if it is going to be done a person has to do it.  

    a person ALWAYS has to do it (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Dadler on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:05:49 AM EST
    And they know it. No condemned person walks themselves to that death chamber, they are always escorted and "assisted" no matter the method or machinery when one gets there, or however "impersonally" it is designed to kill.

    That (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 08:52:42 AM EST
    And the price of bullets.

    Yes (none / 0) (#8)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 09:35:36 AM EST
    Murder became more and more automated by the Nazis because their soldiers were getting traumatized killing so many non arians.

    And the germans cared about their soldiers, if not for the fact that they needed them as fully functional killers.


    It seems like these botched (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by desertswine on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 01:41:18 PM EST
    executions have turned into nothing more than experiments in killing.

    i wondered about this, as i was reading the (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sat Aug 02, 2014 at 12:19:04 AM EST
    "it doesn't matter if you give the person 500 additional doses or five million doses. It won't have any more effect."

    the first part of your post. at some point, the medication (in this case, the sedative) reaches a saturation level where any additional amount is just a waste. i'm not a dr., nor do i play one on tv. however, i do recall the infamous high school "super saturation" experiment, the one where you and your lab partner continue putting salt into the beaker of water, until the salt no longer disolves. this is the point of "super saturation", and i couldn't help but think the same process applies elsewhere.

    i doubt this will stop them from doing it again.

    assisted suicide? (none / 0) (#12)
    by thomas rogan on Sun Aug 03, 2014 at 04:07:27 PM EST
    Of course, all kinds of places (Oregon?, Netherlands) have physician assisted suicide using lethally high doses of opiates and benzodiazepines, and no one believes that people who die that way are suffering from cruel and inhuman punishment.  

    Carbon monoxide (none / 0) (#13)
    by Lora on Mon Aug 04, 2014 at 02:05:54 PM EST

    Jack Kevorkian's Aide Pushed Carbon Monoxide For Injections

    Mind you, I do NOT approve of the death penalty.  It is barbaric.

    I do not approve of torture for anyone, even for people who have committed horrible crimes and are being put to death for those crimes.

    There are a lot of folks accusing (sometimes justifiably) our various government entities of shredding our constitution.  Those who are in favor of causing suffering during an execution are tearing it some more.