Joseph Wood's botched lethal injection joins list of executions gone horribly wrong

joseph.rudolph.wood.mug.shot.565x300.jpg
Joseph Rudolph Wood. More photos and a video below.
Yesterday in Arizona, convicted murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood was executed...very slowly. Wood reportedly gasped for breath for nearly two hours as witnesses watched before finally expiring.

This is hardly the first botched execution, as is clear from the following roster, first published last year. It highlights nine startling stories assembled by CU Professor Michael Radelet, plus one shocker from Westword's archives. Get the details below.

See also: Eddie Ives's botched execution and replacing the noose with the gas chamber

Note that the text for the following items is culled from Radelet's piece "Examples of Post-Furman Botched Executions," shared by the Death Penalty Information Center, except the final entry, derived from Alan Prendergast's 2012 post "Eddie Ives's botched execution and replacing the noose with the gas chamber." That's followed by more details about what went wrong yesterday.

Frank J. Coppola

frank james coppola.jpg
Frank James Coppola.
August 10, 1982. Virginia. Frank J. Coppola. Electrocution. Although no media representatives witnessed the execution and no details were ever released by the Virginia Department of Corrections, an attorney who was present later stated that it took two 55-second jolts of electricity to kill Coppola. The second jolt produced the odor and sizzling sound of burning flesh, and Coppola's head and leg caught on fire. Smoke filled the death chamber from floor to ceiling with a smoky haze.

Jimmy Lee Gray

jimmy lee gray.jpg
Jimmy Lee Gray.
Sept. 2, 1983. Mississippi. Jimmy Lee Gray. Asphyxiation. Officials had to clear the room eight minutes after the gas was released when Gray's desperate gasps for air repulsed witnesses. His attorney, Dennis Balske of Montgomery, Alabama, criticized state officials for clearing the room when the inmate was still alive. Said noted death penalty defense attorney David Bruck, "Jimmy Lee Gray died banging his head against a steel pole in the gas chamber while the reporters counted his moans (eleven, according to the Associated Press)." Later it was revealed that the executioner, Barry Bruce, was drunk.

Continue for more examples of executions gone horribly wrong.


My Voice Nation Help
118 comments
muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

The brain dead little cultists lie that government can't do anything right, yet they trust the government to determine guilt or innocence, then they trust the government to kill citizens, mainly citizens that aren't wealthy.

How about investigating the deaths directly related to the war for profit the Bush Crime Family lied us into. 

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

Hang 'em high.

Poke 'em in the eye.

Torture 'em til they cry.

Think I'll have a piece of pie

And watch another loser die.  

Only liberals need apply.  

Sher Quintana
Sher Quintana

He deserved to die an ugly slow death..eye for an eye..

Zak Bloom
Zak Bloom

Why do we care about how murderers and Molesters are dying?

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

So many posters sound like they'd be happier with The Islamic State's form of justice over our own justice system.

Joe Shepherd
Joe Shepherd

a rope is cheaper , and can be used over and over

Kris Herzberger Potter
Kris Herzberger Potter

I do not feel bad for this guy. He shot a woman point blank in the stomach....... After taunting her about killing her.

Barry Rogers
Barry Rogers

The French got it right centuries ago with the guillotine, although a bit messy & gory, it's definitely quick. Wait a second here, if the executee has lots of metal hardware holding their neck together, a lengthy strangulation might occur instead; oh well nothing is perfect, LOL! Here's a thought, as a more humane & civilized approach, instead of the oft misunderstood, "eye for an eye, tooth ...", as an alternative to the barbaric death penalty; how about life in prison with no chance of parole AND crappy food, inadequate health care, (similar to what US veterans receive) no movies, TV, books, internet access, or magazines?

Stephen Felt
Stephen Felt

Umm, no. His victims suffered much worse I'm sure. We should torture these scumbags to death like the Middle Ages.

Lora McCabe
Lora McCabe

He should've suffered the way he made his victims suffer so he got off easy

Shawn McMillon
Shawn McMillon

You didn't botch an execution unless the dude leaves the room alive. Oh no, the murderer suffered for 2 hours for being a douche and killing someone.

Jason Beck
Jason Beck

Their on death row for a reason, try don't deserve anything better, their victims sure as hell didn't. Not all humans deserve rights, like if you kill, your human rights are then forfeited.

Felicia McBain
Felicia McBain

Could you both compromise between agonizing and cheap if we shoot them in the knee cap, then the stomach, then the head 4 hours later?

Felicia McBain
Felicia McBain

Why should I feel sorry for them? This list includes a rapist and a man who sodomized a 3 year old girl! The problem with wrongly convicted individuals being executed doesn't lie with the existence of the death penalty, but with the corrupt "justice" system of this country.

Willie Culkin
Willie Culkin

Not really. Karma doesn't involve intervention by mere mortals (human beings)

Willie Culkin
Willie Culkin

Research shows that it is of no deterrent value.

Willie Culkin
Willie Culkin

This is not "Karma" people. Read up on your Hinduism or Buddhism.

Willie Culkin
Willie Culkin

I understand that this man's actions violated all of the compacts we have as a society, and that his suffering somehow satisfies our sense of justice. The bottom line is that we are either a civilized society or we are not. We have to be one way or the other with no exceptions. I am not a constitution-thumper, but this seems to be the kind of incident where constitution thumpers throw their beloved document out the window to satisfy their blood lust. Cruel and unusual punishment is not constitutional, legal or moral and neither is stooping to the level of the killer to mete out justice.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Pathetic!


Any NYC or Denver Cop could have choked this guy to death in 30 seconds.



Ryan Faulkner
Ryan Faulkner

Haha good I hope he was in pain the whole way through. I hope they keep doing this so that all of the people that have killed will suffer

GuestWho
GuestWho topcommenter

The USA should support lethal injection, more for the law abiding citizens than prisoners.  People unnecessarily suffer while dying naturally every day and they should be allowed to choose to end their suffering with the aide of doctors like kevorkian who understand the situation.  Any veterinarian could have performed this execution with minimal pain because they use lethal injection frequently to end suffering. We need to have more doctors experienced with lethal injections, not less. The irony is that many people that support lethal injection for prisoners (against their will) are against allowing terminally ill people and others who are suffering from choosing lethal injection. Unfortunately everything that lives must die at some point...free people should have the right to choose natural death vs doctor assisted.

Chris Estus
Chris Estus

When you hang them it never takes more than a few minutes.

Mike McDaniel
Mike McDaniel

I love how all the right-wing kooks think the government can't do anything right - except for convicting and killing people. Seems like if they are so inept this would be the first thing you should take away from them.

Katie Coleman
Katie Coleman

Botched? He is dead. I think that means it worked

Renee Ortiz
Renee Ortiz

Thanks for posting the names of his victims. People should remember what he did. :)

Jay Haven
Jay Haven

The death penalty needs to be a painful reminder to those that witness them, the message is that if you commit a heinous crime of murder this is what your punishment will be. Maybe then people will get the message

Evan Bergan
Evan Bergan

People like this shouldn't get the pleasure of a quick bullet. They should have to gasp for air as they slowly die

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Are you a member of the Islamic State....your beliefs are the same as theirs. 

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Thank you for your question.  We live in a civilized country with a Constitution.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

Just like the conservatives inthe middle east.  The Islamist State and you have much in common.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... Jesus would be proud of your vengeful blood-lust

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... makes the whole world blind.



*except for the last one-eyed man.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

You could not have said it any better!!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so when do we get to witness the slow agonizing executions of War Criminals George Bu$h and Dick Cheney and the rest of the war pigs?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... so EVERY U$ Soldier that killed deserves to die, eh fucktard?


Noted.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

... spoke like a true christian.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...