Target: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer
Goal: Abolish Arizona’s death penalty after torturous bungled execution
It took Joseph Wood almost two hours to die after he was administered an experimental lethal injection. The convicted prisoner was allegedly gasping and snorting for over an hour and a half as witnesses watched uncertainly and his lawyers filed an emergency motion to stop it. Now, state authorities are claiming that Wood did not suffer and did not gasp for air, statements that are directly counter to firsthand accounts. Demand that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer thoroughly investigates the inhumane suffering Wood was forced to endure and end the death penalty in the state.
Joseph Wood was given a new combination of drugs for his execution, midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a painkiller, the origins of which remain highly secretive. Although he seemed to be sedated during the first 10 minutes, eyewitnesses claim that they saw Wood’s stomach begin to move as he gulped, coughed, choked, and gasped for air. One reporter counted 660 gasps and gulps from Wood that went on for over an hour and a half until he finally lay still and was pronounced dead.
Two other botched executions have already taken place this year, both utilizing secretive and relatively untested drug combinations. After Clayton Lockett groaned for 45 minutes during his execution in Oklahoma in April, Obama launched an investigation into the use of the death penalty in the United States. Although Governor Jan Brewer has ordered an investigation of the death, she also claims that Wood did not suffer and that he was in a deep sedation throughout the process, statements that are refuted by reporters who witnessed the disturbing event.
The vast majority of OECD nations have already abolished the death penalty, but the United States still refuses to follow suit. How many more bungled executions and questionably guilty people must be executed until the United States says enough? When we allow a man to suffer for almost two hours before he finally dies, are we really any better than convicted murderers? It’s time to admit what we all know to be true: There is no humane way to kill someone. Not only is the death penalty unethical, it is also a violation of the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits using “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Sign this petition to urge Governor Brewer to restore benevolence and mercy in Arizona by ending the death penalty.
Dear Governor Brewer,
Eyewitnesses describe Joseph Wood’s execution as disturbing. John McCain said it amounted to torture. Wood’s execution was the third botched execution in the United States just this year, but his was by far the most prolonged, the most unsettling.
No one can know what Joseph Wood was feeling as he waited to die. Whether he was really in pain or his mind had shut down while his body struggled to breathe, not willing to give up without a fight.
There is one thing that’s clear: There is no humane way to kill another human being.
One hundred and eighteen inmates currently sit on Arizona’s death row. I urge you to convert their sentences to life imprisonment, and to abolish the death penalty in your state to prevent others from enduring the same prolonged and terrible end.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: KimChee via Wikipedia Commons