MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) – A veteran US death penalty lawyer has accused the US Supreme Court of failing to have objected publicly when justices voted to let Arizona proceed with the execution of US citizen Joseph Wood, who died in late July only two hours after a lethal injection.
«They're all voting to kill them, every so often. They do it in a very workmanlike, technocratic fashion," Stephen Bright, a veteran death penalty lawyer in Georgia, told the Associated Press.
No one on the Supreme Court emerged as a principle opponent when Arizona prison authorities executed Wood, who unsuccessfully sought data about the drugs that would be used to murder him, Bright said.
The 55-year-old Wood, convicted for double murder, was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m. local time on July 23, one hour and 57 minutes after the apparently botched execution started. Wood was seen «gasping and snorting for more than an hour» before he died.
Other inmates in Florida and Missouri were killed by a lethal injection in the preceding weeks after the high court refused to block their executions, and no justice said the executions should be stopped, the report said.
In April, Oklahoma botched the execution of Clayton Lockett, who writhed in pain for more than 45 minutes while the state tried to kill him.
“In death cases, the Supreme Court often is the last stop for inmates, seeking a last-minute reprieve. They rarely succeed, a function of the need for five votes on the nine-justice court and the reluctance of appellate judges to disturb lower court rulings unless they are demonstrably wrong,” AP said.
Following the reports of the botched execution in an Arizona prison, a Russian rights ombudsman accused the United States of conducting illegal human experiments, violating major international laws.
«There's been a spike in such executions across the United States that are nothing else than illegal human experiments, which violate international laws," Russian Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dolgov wrote on Twitter.
The American Civil Liberties Union has also condemned the execution, saying, «No government should experiment with human life."