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US inmate takes nearly two hours to die in botched execution

Published on Jul 24, 2014 9:26 AM

PHOENIX (REUTERS) - An Arizona inmate took almost two hours to die by lethal injection on Wednesday and his lawyers said he "gasped and snorted" before succumbing in the latest botched execution to raise questions about the death penalty in the United States.

The execution of convicted double murderer Joseph Wood began at 1.52 pm local time at a state prison complex, and the 55-year-old was pronounced dead just shy of two hours later at 3.49 pm, the Arizona attorney general's office said.

During that time, his lawyers filed an unsuccessful emergency appeal in federal courts that sought to have the execution halted and their client given life-saving medical treatment.

The appeal said the procedure violated his constitutional right to be executed without suffering cruel and unusual punishment.

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