Condemned murderer gasps for air more than an hour after execution drugs administered


POSTED: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 7:00am

UPDATED: Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 7:36am

Witnesses say condemned inmate Joseph Rudolf Wood gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday night in Arizona.

He was finally pronounced dead almost two hours after it began.

"To watch a man lay there for an hour and forty minutes gulping air, I can liken it to if you catch a fish and throw it onto shore, when this fish opens and closes its mouth," said witness Troy Hayden.

"He was clearly struggling for breath and that's atypical cause usually an execution takes 10, 11 minutes and you see virtually nothing," added fellow witness Michael Kiefer.

It was the first time such a drug combination had been used in Arizona, but it was the same combo used in Ohio in January, where Dennis McGuire took nearly 25 minutes to die.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is promising a full review.

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