Lawyers say inmate was gasping, snorting more than an hour during execution

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Joseph Wood’s booking photo from the Arizona Department of Corrections

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FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona officials say a murderer who was sentenced to death has died nearly two hours after his execution started.

Wood’s lawyers had filed an emergency appeal in federal court during the execution demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour.”

Attorney General Tom Horne’s office says Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

A message seeking comment was left with the Arizona Department of Corrections.

An Associated Press reporter witnessed the execution but could not immediately communicate with anyone outside the state prison in Florence where the execution took place.

The execution came after the U.S. Supreme Court denied several appeals seeking details about the state’s execution methods.

There have been several controversial executions recently, including that of an Ohio inmate in January who snorted and gasped during the 26 minutes it took him to die.

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