After several days of legal maneuvering, Arizona on Wednesday executed 55-year-old, Robert G. Jones. The execution commenced at 1:52 p.m. at the Arizona State Prison Complex (ASPC)-Florence. He was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m. The nearly two hour dying process prompted concerns by critics of the death penalty. Several botched executions nationally have prompted some critics for elimination of lethal injection as a form of execution.
Jones murdered his girlfriend and her father in 1989 and was sentenced to death 23 years ago.
Wood and his 29-year-old ex-girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, had been involved in an unstable relationship for five years, which had been impaired by the numerous breakups and domestic violent incidents during the time. Debbie had been working at a local body shop owned by her family.
On August 7, 1989, Wood walked into the shop and killed Debbie’s father, Gene Dietz. Wood shot the 55-year-old in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver. Gene’s 70-year-old brother was at the scene and tried to stop Wood, but Wood pushed him away while then proceeding to another section of the shop. After Wood found Debbie, he put her in a hold, then shot her once in the abdomen and once in the chest, killing her as well. After killing the two victims, he then fled the building.
Wood was convicted February 25, 1991, and sentenced to death July 2, 1991.
Gov. Jan Brewer issued a press release expressing concerns about the time it took for the lethal drugs used in the execution to take effect.
She said “I am concerned by the length of time it took for the administered drug protocol to complete the lawful execution of the convicted double murderer, Joseph Wood. While justice was carried out today, I directed the Department of Corrections to conduct a full review of the process.
“One thing is certain, however, inmate Wood died in a lawful manner and by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer. This is in stark comparison to the gruesome, vicious suffering that he inflicted on his two victims – and the lifetime of suffering he has caused their family.”