Close
Bonneville Phoenix Network
 KTAR News
 Arizona Sports
92.3 FM KTAR
Menu
Social
Latest News
Updated May 2, 2014 - 2:11 pm

AG Tom Horne discusses Arizona's execution procedures

This June 29, 2011, file photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections shows Clayton Lockett. Oklahoma prison officials halted the execution of Lockett Tuesday, April 29, 2014, after the delivery of a new three-drug combination failed to go as planned. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Lockett had an apparent heart attack more than 40 minutes after the start of the execution. (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections, File)

PHOENIX -- Arizona's attorney general is weighing in on the state's execution procedures following the botched execution of an Oklahoma inmate this week.

Following reports that inmate Clayton Lockett's turbulent execution was the result of a collapsed vein, Attorney General Tom Horne said Arizona's execution procedures call for veins to be checked before an executioner's needle is inserted.

"Here in Arizona, we make sure that doesn't happen because if there is any question about a prisoner's vein, we use the femoral vein, which is on the thigh," Horne said. "That's the way we make sure this kind of thing won't happen. If there's any question about the vein, we're using a much larger vein."

Reports claim that prison officials could not use a vein in Lockett's arm because of a wound, and as a result the needle was placed into Lockett's groin area. The vein then collapsed and the drugs may have entered into his tissue or leaked out of his body, a prison official said in a report.

It the first time a new cocktail of drugs was used by the state to attempt to execute a prisoner, according to CNN.

In Arizona, there are three chemical procedures on the books for use in executions. Two options are single drug protocols using either sodium pentothal or pentobarbital. The final is a concoction of two drugs called midazolam and hydromorphone, according to a March 2014 revision in the Arizona Department of Corrections execution procedures.

Horne said he's personally witnessed an execution using pentobarbital.

"It was extremely peaceful," Horne said. "(The prisoner) went to sleep. He was breathing deeply the way you do when you sleep deeply. And then he expired from an overdose (and) so these other two sedatives that we use are basically the same principle."

According to the Department of Corrections, there are currently 122 inmates on death row in the state, none of which are scheduled for execution at this time. However, Horne's office did submit a request to the state Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking a date of execution for inmate Joseph Wood, who has been on death row since 1991 for first-degree murder.

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.

About the Author


A southern California native, Mark Remillard began working in radio in 2010 while in community college as a host of late night and weekend programming for publicly supported 88.5 FM KSBR. While working through college, Mark also interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640, where he began his work in journalism. Mark moved to Arizona in August 2012 to finish his bachelor's degree at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and graduated in August 2014. Mark began working as a reporter for KTAR in November 2012.

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Latest News