Skip to main content

    Arizona to change lethal injection drugs after botched execution

    Arizona to change lethal injection drugs after botched execution

    Share this story

    Handout/Getty Images

    Arizona is changing the mixture of drugs it uses for lethal injections after an execution this summer left an inmate alive for almost two hours, the Associated Press reports. In a letter to Governor Jan Brewer, Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan said that the state would be abandoning its current sedative and painkiller combination, potentially replacing it with an older alternative. The news comes in response to an independent report investigating the death of Joseph Rudolph Wood, a convicted murderer who was executed by lethal injection earlier this year. The process, which should have taken minutes to work, dragged on as Wood "gasped and snorted," eventually taking an hour and 57 minutes before he was pronounced dead. It's the latest incident to raise questions about whether lethal injection, adopted as a supposedly more humane alternative to older execution methods, can actually deliver a painless death.

    According to the AP, the report found that prison staff carried out the execution correctly. Instead, the problem was that Wood "did not react to the drugs as expected." The mixture, a combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone, is a relatively new adoption, and there are questions about whether it's an ethical or effective choice for capital punishment. Its provenance also isn't clear; in the wake of Wood's death, several news outlets sued the state, asking it to reveal the source of the drug. For the past several years, states have been filling the void left by a shortage of traditional lethal injection drugs. The Dutch company behind one of these, the barbiturate Nembutal or pentobarbital, announced in 2011 that it would refuse to sell its products for use in executions. Ryan plans to switch to a combination of pentobarbital and sodium pentothal if possible, falling back on a three-drug combination if the state can't find supplies.

    Wood's death is one of several failed or prolonged lethal injections. Earlier in 2014, Oklahoma inmate Clayton Lockett suddenly regained consciousness during his execution; it was stopped, but Lockett died soon after of a heart attack. The problem reportedly stemmed from a misplaced needle, and the White House condemned Lockett's death as inhumane. Oklahoma and Arizona, along with other states, have temporarily halted executions as they investigate the deaths.

    Today’s Storystream

    Feed refreshed Two hours ago Striking out

    A
    Andrew WebsterTwo hours ago
    Looking for something to do this weekend?

    Why not hang out on the couch playing video games and watching TV. It’s a good time for it, with intriguing recent releases like Return to Monkey Island, Session: Skate Sim, and the Star Wars spinoff Andor. Or you could check out some of the new anime on Netflix, including Thermae Romae Novae (pictured below), which is my personal favorite time-traveling story about bathing.


    A screenshot from the Netflix anime Thermae Romae Novae.
    Thermae Romae Novae.
    Image: Netflix
    J
    Twitter
    Jay PetersSep 23
    Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

    Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.


    T
    Twitter
    Tom WarrenSep 23
    Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

    Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.


    A
    External Link
    If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

    Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

    Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.


    A
    External Link
    Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

    Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

    Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.


    E
    TikTok
    Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

    Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.


    J
    External Link
    Jay PetersSep 23
    Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

    Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

    “Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

    In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.


    E
    External Link
    Insiders made the most money off of Helium’s “People’s Network.”

    Remember Helium, which was touted by The New York Times in an article entitled “Maybe There’s a Use for Crypto After All?” Not only was the company misleading people about who used it — Salesforce and Lime weren’t using it, despite what Helium said on its site — Helium disproportionately enriched insiders, Forbes reports.


    J
    Youtube
    James VincentSep 23
    Nvidia’s latest AI model generates endless 3D models.

    Need to fill your video game, VR world, or project render with 3D chaff? Nvidia’s latest AI model could help. Trained on 2D images, it can churn out customizable 3D objects ready to import and tweak.

    The model seems rudimentary (the renders aren’t amazing quality and seem limited in their variety), but generative AI models like this are only going to improve, speeding up work for all sorts of creative types.