On Sunday, November 29, CBS’s 60 Minutes will air a segment on Arizona’s 2-hour botched execution of Joseph Wood. As described by 60 Minutes, Wood’s “execution with a new cocktail of drugs was supposed to take 10 minutes. It took almost two hours, the longest execution in U.S. history.”
On July 23, 2014, Arizona gave Wood 15 consecutive doses of midazolam and hydromorphone, the same drug combination that had been used in the botched execution of Dennis McGuire in Ohio six months earlier. Witnesses to Wood’s execution reported that he gasped and snorted more than 600 times during the 2-hour procedure. Prison officials had estimated that the drugs would take about 10 minutes to kill Wood. Prior to the execution, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had ordered the state to release information about the source of the drugs and the training of those who would carry it out, but the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the decision and allowed the execution to proceed under a veil of secrecy. Dale Baich, one of Wood’s attorneys, said, “I’ve witnessed a number of executions before and I’ve never seen anything like this. Nor has an execution that I observed taken this long.”
60 Minutes airs at 7:30 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm MST, 7:00 pm Pacific on CBS.