June 17, 2019

Why executions in Arizona are in a holding pattern

A discussion with criminal justice reporter Michael Kiefer.

Executions in Arizona have been in a holding pattern since 2014, when the state put to death Joseph Wood by lethal injection. It took two hours and several injections of the drug for him to die. Michael Kiefer covered the execution and has reported on Arizona's criminal justice system for nearly 20 years. He explained the events that followed Wood's death.

"The litigation began before the execution was even over," Kiefer said. "This sort of was the straw that broke the camel's back. That federal judge had allowed the Arizona Department of Correction a whole lot of leeway in earlier executions and at that point he ordered that everything be analyzed and litigated."

Kiefer also described restrictions placed on the types of drugs that can be used for lethal injections and the legal hurdles that have made it difficult to obtain them.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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