A condemned Arizona inmate gasped and snorted for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.
Wood's lawyers had filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was "gasping and snorting for more than an hour."
Word that Justice Anthony Kennedy denied the appeal came about a half hour after Wood's death.
Wood, 55, gasped more than 600 times before he died. Defense lawyer Dale Baich called it a botched execution that should have taken 10 minutes.
Family members of the victims said they had no problems with the way the execution was carried out.
Read more at the Associated Press