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Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich tells ’60 Minutes’ controversial Arizona execution not botched

PHOENIX — The Arizona inmate who died in the longest execution in U.S. history, “eventually received justice,” Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich told a national TV news magazine.

The execution of Arizona inmate Joseph Wood made headlines in 2014 when the execution by lethal injection took almost two hours. In a “60 Minutes” segment Sunday night, Brnovich said he thought “botched” was too strong a word to describe the execution.

Wood, who was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her father, was supposed to receive just one dose during the lethal injection, but according to prison logs, he was injected 15 times by the new combination of drugs, the show reported.

The execution was supposed to take 10 minutes, but ended up taking almost two hours.

“In this instance it happened to take longer but that does not mean that it was botched,” Brnovich said. At the time of the execution, Arizona’s Attorney General was Tom Horne.

Brnovich told correspondent Bill Whitaker the independent report and medical examiner had concluded Wood to have been sedated and unresponsive during the entire execution.

The Arizona Republic reported Wood gasped hundreds of times during the execution.

When asked how he knew that Wood was not feeling pain, Brnovich responded, “Ultimately you can’t know, because the person’s dead.”

“I think two hours, three hours, four hours, when someone’s on the death gurney and they’re unconscious, I don’t think they’re worried about the time,” he said.

A reporter for The Arizona Republic, Michael Kiefer, was also interviewed regarding the execution, telling Whitaker, “Everybody was thinking something went wrong. You could see the looks on the faces of the people from the Department of Corrections who were standing along the side. You know, they were looking at each other nervously.”

Wood was executed on July 23, 2014 by a combination of midazolam and a painkiller, according to the Associated Press.

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