Arizona Executioner took too long to insert IV

Phoenix (AP) — The first execution in Arizona for nearly eight years was smoother than when the state last applied the death penalty. Almost 2 hours or more.

The Clarence Dixon lethal injection On Wednesday, Deana Bowdoin, a 21-year-old student at Arizona State University, was convicted of murder in a state prison in Florence for being killed in 1978, and appeared to follow the state’s execution protocol. It doesn’t work. He was declared dead about 10 minutes later.

However, death penalty experts said Thursday that the estimated 25 minutes it took medical staff to insert the IV into Dixon’s body was too long. Workers first tried to insert the IV into his left arm before connecting the IV to his right arm, but failed. Then they chose to make an incision in his groin known as a “cutdown” for another IV line.

Professor Deborah Denno of Fordham Law School, who has studied executions for over 25 years, said executions take 7-10 minutes from the start of the IV insertion process to the declaration that a prisoner has died.

“It’s a sign of despair (on the side of the execution team) and a sign of an unqualified executioner,” Denno said.

The final execution in Arizona took place in July 2014, before Dixon was sentenced to death, and Joseph Wood was given 15 combinations of the two drugs over nearly two hours. Wood repeatedly snorted and gasped before he died. The process was so long that the Arizona Supreme Court convened an emergency hearing during the execution and decided whether to suspend the procedure.

Since then, Arizona has changed its execution protocol and has agreed not to use midazolam, one of the medicines injected into wood. Instead, Dixon was performed with an injection of pentobarbital.

Wood’s death problems, coupled with the difficulties the state faced in finding a source to sell it deadly injectables, led to an almost eight-year suspension of executions in Arizona.

A similar problem previously occurred with healthcare professionals attempting to insert an IV line into a accused prisoner.

Alabama prison officials attempted to execute a prisoner in lethal injection in February 2017, but had to stop because health care workers could not find a suitable vein to connect the vein line. did not. The prisoner died of cancer almost four years later.

Execution in November 2017 was suspended in Ohio after a member of the execution team told the state prison director that the vein was not found. The prisoner died of natural causes a few months later.

Another lethal injection execution in Ohio also failed to find a suitable vein for the accused prisoner who cried in pain while the technician was undergoing 18 pincushions, two hours later. It was canceled in September 2009. He died in prison in late 2020 due to possible complications of COVID-19.

Death penalty experts find it difficult to find the IV line, trying to insert the IV with the physical condition of the prisoner accused of past IV drug use, medical problems related to hydration and the effects of aging. The line states that it may be due to a combination of untrained people. It is unknown whether 66-year-old Dixon was ever an IV drug user.

Michael Ladderett, a sociologist at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who has studied the death penalty for 40 years, said he believed that the protracted elements of Dixon’s death caused the execution to fail.

“Recognizing that not everyone agrees with it, I classify it as a failure, but things didn’t go well,” Ladderette said.

In a statement Thursday, the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Re-Immigration stated that Dixon’s executions were “perfect” and were in accordance with state law and execution protocols.

Rick Romley, who headed the Metro Phoenix County Public Prosecutor’s Office for murdering Dixon, said he resigned before being sentenced to death in January 2008, and executions could have been more complicated than planned. There is a flaw that he said was, but he didn’t consider it. He said that the difficulty of finding a vein to insert the IV line is common to people inside and outside prison.

“It doesn’t bother me at all,” Romley said.

Asked if the difficulty of inserting an IV during execution violates protection against cruel and unusual punishment, Denno said there is a history of execution failures in the United States since the advent of lethal injection. Stated.

“It (Dixon’s execution) may fail, but it will not affect anyone’s rights to the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment,” Denno said. “The court is not sympathetic to this situation.”

Amanda Bass, one of Dixon’s lawyers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.