Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Thursday, August 7, 2014


“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.”

 - Statement from Governor Jan Brewer, July 23, 2014

            The recent execution of Joseph Wood on July 23, 2014, caused the public to focus on the killer’s ‘botched’ execution, which was not botched at all. We, the comrades of Unit 1012, prefer to focus on the victims and their families, who are for the death penalty. Please remember the victims, Debra Dietz and her father, Eugene.

            Do hear from the victims’ families and those who work in the Arizona Department of Corrections, who bravely told the public that the execution was not botched. 

Debra Dietz

Family of Victims Shows No Sympathy at Killer's Execution
By RHEANA MURRAY 14 hours ago Good Morning America

Heartbreak: Jeanne Brown, the sister and daughter of Wood's victims [PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/joseph-wood-execution-shocking-murder-3905122]
The family of two people murdered by a man sentenced to the death penalty by lethal injection showed no sympathy when his execution dragged on for nearly two hours.

Jeanne Brown watched from the gallery at the Arizona State Prison Complex as Joseph Rudolph Wood, who shot her sister and father dead in 1989, died on Wednesday. She angrily brushed off his attorneys' complaints that Wood suffered during the execution.

"You don't know what excruciating is," Brown told the media after Wood was pronounced dead. "Excruciating is seeing your dad lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying there in a pool of blood. That's excruciating. This man deserved it."

Her husband added that the convicted killer smiled at the family before succumbing to the drugs.

"It's not just about him," Richard Brown said. "It's about other people that suffered, that are still suffering. He smiled and laughed at us and then went to sleep."

State doctors said Wood didn't suffer, but his attorneys claimed he did.

"It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breathe for about an hour and 40 minutes," attorney Dale Baich, who witnessed the execution, said in a statement, adding that Arizona now joins the list of states responsible for a "bungled execution."

Witnesses described watching Wood gasp like a fish and hearing sounds similar to snoring. A doctor checked Wood a few times during the procedure and confirmed that he was sedated, witnesses said.

An Associated Press reporter who saw the execution said Wood was gasping for nearly two hours.

Family of Victims Shows No Sympathy at Killer's Execution (ABC News)

"At the beginning, he turned around and was looking at the gallery, was looking all around while he was being prepped," AP reporter Astrid Galvan said. "He smiled at the gallery at least once. Also looked directly at the deacon -- gave him a smile, and then had a frown on his face."

Wood's case is the latest in a growing debate about the efficiency of the death penalty by lethal injections. One federal judge recently suggested a firing squad would be a more "foolproof" method.

But Jeanne and Andrew Brown don't care about the drug discussion. They're just glad Wood is dead.

"Everybody is worried about the drug," Andrew Brown said. "These people that do this, they deserve to suffer a little bit."

"I saw the life go out of my sister-in-law's eye as he shot her to death," he added. "I'm so sick of you guys blowing this drug stuff out of proportion."

Jeanne Brown said Wednesday marked the end of a long, painful journey for her family.

"Nobody sees the real picture of what took place in the last 25 years," she said. "Everyone is more worried about: Did he suffer? Who really suffered is my dad and my sister, when they [were] killed."

However, death penalty foes have argued, capital offenders should not suffer because the U.S. Bill of Rights bars "cruel and unusual punishments."

“Today the state of Arizona broke the Eighth Amendment, the First Amendment, and the bounds of basic decency," said Cassandra Stubbs, director of the ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, in a written statement after the execution. "Joseph Wood suffered cruel and unusual punishment when he was apparently left conscious long after the drugs were administered.”

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said justice was served with Wood's execution, but has ordered a review of what happened.

"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,"

Brewer said in a statement. "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," she said. "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."

WATCH: Family of Victims Rip Media Over Concern for Executed Arizona Murderer (EPIC Video)

By Top Right News on July 24, 2014 in Crime
by Gina Cassini | Top Right News

Jeanne and Richard Brown.
Remember the real victims!

That’s what the family of the victims of executed Arizona murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood told the media that has spent that last 24 hours whining about how long Wood took to die.

Wood was administered a controversial drug mix, and took 1 hour and 50 minutes to snore himself to death yesterday, after his lawyers exhausted last minute appeals — the end of a 25-year nightmare for the family of his victims.

The national media has spent every minute since blasting the delay, and showing compassion for the wrong person: the double-murderer Wood.

In the video below we see Fox 10 Phoenix reporter Troy Hayden, who witnessed the execution, describe it as “very disturbing to watch”, and “very hard” for everyone who saw Wood “gasping for air” for nearly two hours.

But the daughter and sister of the two victims Jeanne Brown would have none of it, saying (at 0:53 below) that Wood was sleeping and snoring until the drugs eventually killed him.

“You don’t know what excruciating is,” Brown told the media after Wood was pronounced dead. “Excruciating is seeing your dad lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying there in a pool of blood. That’s excruciating. This man deserved it.”

And when her husband Richard — a witness to the 1989 murders — spoke (at 2:11 above), he castigated the media for its obsession over Wood’s well-being and for ignoring the true victims and the injustice of a capital punishment system that let’s murderers live far too long before justice is done:

“Nobody sees the real picture of what took place in the last 25 years,” she said. “Everyone is more worried about: Did he suffer? Who really suffered is my dad and my sister, when they [were] killed.”

My heart goes out to Jeanne and Richard, who had to endure the true “cruel and unusual” punishment by seeing this insect live for 25 years after his horrific crime. (And I think Troy Hayden has some ‘splainin’ to do).

DOC: Inmate did not suffer, Arizona halting executions for now

Originally published: Jul 24, 2014 - 4:12 pm

PHOENIX -- An Arizona inmate did not suffer during a near two-hour execution Wednesday but the state will not pursue other executions until an investigation is complete, an Arizona Department of Corrections official said.

Director Charles Ryan said Joseph Rudolph Wood was "fully and completely sedated" during the process and did not experience pain. He blasted media reports stating the execution was botched.

"Media reports, some of which were made prior to any information officially being released on the day of the execution, reached a premature and erroneous conclusion that this execution was 'botched,'" he told assembled media on Thursday. "This is pure conjecture because there is no medical of forensic evidence to date that supports that conclusion. In fact, the evidence gathered thus supports the opposite."

Ryan received an initial report from the medical examiner, who said the IVs and catheters were placed "perfectly" in Wood's arms.

The DOC is still waiting on a toxicology report.

While the investigation into the execution is underway, Ryan said the Arizona Attorney General's Office would not pursue warrants for execution.

KTAR's Martha Maurer contributed to this story.

Doctor: Injection lines placed correctly in executed inmate

by The Associated Press
Posted on July 28, 2014 at 9:08 AM
Updated Wednesday, Jul 30 at 8:09 AM
PHOENIX (AP) -- Intravenous lines were placed correctly during the execution of an Arizona inmate whose death with lethal drugs took more than 90 minutes, a medical examiner said Monday.

Incorrect placement of lines can inject drugs into soft tissue instead of the blood stream, but the drugs used to kill Joseph Woods went into the veins of his arms, said Gregory Hess of the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office.

Hess also told The Associated Press that he found no unexplained injuries or anything else out of the ordinary when he examined the body of Woods, who gasped and snorted Wednesday more than 600 times before he was pronounced dead.

An Ohio inmate gasped in similar fashion for nearly 30 minutes in January. An Oklahoma inmate died of a heart attack in April, minutes after prison officials halted his execution because the drugs weren't being administered properly.

Hess said he will certify the outcome of Woods' execution as death by intoxication from the two execution drugs - the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone - if there is nothing unusual about whatever drugs are detected in Wood's system.

Hess' preliminary findings were reported previously by the Arizona Capitol Times. Toxicology results are expected in 4 to 6 weeks from an outside lab.

Hess is chief deputy medical examiner for Pima County, which conducts autopsies for Pinal County, where the prison is located.

Wood was sentenced to death for the 1989 killings of his estranged girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, and her father, Gene Dietz.

Wood was the first Arizona prisoner to be killed with the drug combination. Anesthesiology experts have said they weren't surprised the drugs took so long to kill him.

Arizona and other death-penalty states have scrambled in recent years to find alternatives to drugs used previously for executions but are now in short supply due to opposition to capital punishment.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has ordered the Corrections Department to conduct a review of the execution of Wood.

Arizona execution: Lawyer said inmate not in pain 

·         AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File 

 State officials assured a judge during the nearly two-hour execution of an Arizona inmate that he was comatose and not feeling pain at any point.

A transcript of an emergency court hearing reveals the behind-the-scenes drama as the execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood unfolded Wednesday. The hearing included a defense lawyer, an attorney for the state and a judge.

They discussed Wood's brain activity and heart rate, questioned if he was feeling any pain and talked about whether it would do any good to stop the execution while it was so far along.

"In talking with the director, who has been in consultation with the IV team leader, there has been no appearance of any pain," a lawyer for the state said during the hearing.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The nation's third execution in six months to go awry rekindled the debate over the death penalty and handed potentially new evidence to those building a case against lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment.

Joseph Rudolph Wood took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during his execution in Arizona on Wednesday. The execution took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency appeal while it was ongoing. The Arizona Supreme Court also called an impromptu hearing on the matter and learned of his death during the discussions.

"He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour," Wood's lawyers wrote in a legal filing demanding that the courts stop it. "He is still alive."

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Wood, 55, was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

It is the third prolonged execution this year in the U.S., including one in Ohio in which an inmate gasped in similar fashion for nearly a half-hour. An Oklahoma inmate died of a heart attack in April, minutes after prison officials halted his execution because the drugs weren't being administered properly.

Gov. Jan Brewer said later that she was ordering a full review of the state's execution process, saying she's concerned by how long it took for the administered drug protocol to kill Wood.

An Associated Press reporter who witnessed the execution saw Wood start gasping shortly after a sedative and a pain killer were injected into his veins. He gasped more than 600 times over the next hour and a half. During the gasps, his jaw dropped and his chest expanded and contracted.

An administrator checked on Wood a half dozen times. His breathing slowed as a deacon said a prayer while holding a rosary. Wood finally stopped breathing and was pronounced dead 12 minutes later.

"Throughout this execution, I conferred and collaborated with our IV team members and was assured unequivocally that the inmate was comatose and never in pain or distress," said state Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan.

Defense lawyer Dale Baich called it a botched execution that should have taken 10 minutes.

"Arizona appears to have joined several other states who have been responsible for an entirely preventable horror -- a bungled execution," Baich said. "The public should hold its officials responsible and demand to make this process more transparent."

Family members of Wood's victims in a double 1989 murder said they had no problems with the way the execution was carried out.

"This man conducted a horrific murder and you guys are going, let's worry about the drugs," said Richard Brown, the brother-in-law of Debbie Dietz. "Why didn't they give him a bullet, why didn't we give him Drano?"

Wood looked at the family members as he delivered his final words, saying he was thankful for Jesus Christ as his savior. At one point, he smiled at them, which angered the family.

Arizona uses the same drugs -- the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone -- that were used in the Ohio execution earlier this year. A different drug combination was used in the Oklahoma case.

"These procedures are unreliable and the consequences are horrific," said Megan McCracken, of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law's Death Penalty Clinic.

States have refused to reveal details such as which pharmacies are supplying lethal injection drugs and who is administering them out of concerns that the drugmakers could be harassed.

Wood filed several appeals that were denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. Wood argued he and the public have a right to know details about the state's method for lethal injections, the qualifications of the executioner and who makes the drugs. Such demands for greater transparency have become a new legal tactic in death penalty cases.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had put the execution on hold, saying the state must reveal the information. But the Supreme Court has not been receptive to the tactic, ruling against death penalty lawyers on the argument each time it has been before justices.

Deborah Denno, professor of criminal law and criminal procedure at Fordham Law School, said it may be up to Legislatures or the public to bring any change.

"I think every time one of these botches happens, it leads to questioning the death penalty even more," she said.

The governor said medical and eyewitness accounts indicated that Wood did not suffer and he died in a lawful manner in which justice was served.

Attorney general's spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham, who witnessed the execution, said Wood "went to sleep, and looked to be snoring."

"This was my first execution, and I was surprised by how peaceful it was," Grisham said in an email. "There was absolutely no snorting or gasping for air."

He was convicted of fatally shooting Dietz and her father, 55-year-old Gene Dietz, at their auto repair shop in Tucson.

Wood and Debbie Dietz had a tumultuous relationship during which he repeatedly assaulted her. She tried to end their relationship and got an order of protection against Wood.

On the day of the shooting, Wood went to the auto shop and waited for Gene Dietz, who disapproved of his daughter's relationship with Wood, to get off the phone. Once the father hung up, Wood pulled out a revolver, shot him in the chest and then smiled.

Wood then turned his attention toward Debbie Dietz, who was trying to telephone for help. Wood grabbed her by the neck and put his gun to her chest. She pleaded with him to spare her life. An employee heard Wood say, "I told you I was going to do it. I have to kill you." He then called her an expletive and fired two shots in her chest.

Victims' Families Seek Justice, Retribution And Closure From Death Penalty
By ALLEN G. BREED 07/28/14 05:56 AM ET EDT 

Randy Browning watched from behind the glass as Kimberly McCarthy slipped quietly into unconsciousness, snored briefly, then finally stopped breathing. It didn't matter to him that this woman — who'd brutally stabbed and mutilated his beloved godmother and mentor — was allowed a peaceful, painless death.

For Browning, it was enough to know that Dorothy Booth's murderer was no more.

"I'm happy not to share the planet with Kimberly McCarthy," he said from his home in Austin, Texas. "But would I want her to be strung up and tortured? No."

The prolonged — some say "botched" — execution of double murderer Joseph Rudolph Wood last week in Arizona fanned the flames of the unending debate over whether vicious killers should suffer as they die for their crimes. The controversy follows two other recent executions that went awry: In January, an Ohio inmate snorted and gasped for nearly a half hour before dying; in Oklahoma, a man died of a heart attack minutes after prison officials halted his execution because the drugs weren't being administered properly.

Talk with loved ones of their victims, and you'll find some on all sides of the issue.

In Wood's case, Richard Brown questions whether he suffered enough.

"This man conducted a horrifying murder, and you guys are going, 'Let's worry about the drugs,'" said Brown, brother- and son-in-law of Woods' victims, Debra and Eugene Dietz. "Why didn't they give him a bullet? Why didn't we give him Drano?"

Wood died by lethal injection Wednesday for the August 1989 slayings of his estranged girlfriend and her father. But he did not go quietly. About 10 minutes after the drugs began flowing, Wood started gasping. When it had continued for more than an hour, the condemned man's lawyers made a desperate appeal to state and federal courts to halt the execution.

After nearly two hours and what witnesses say were hundreds of gasps, Wood was pronounced dead.

As the accounts played on television, cries of "cruel and unusual punishment" resounded, and calls came down for a nationwide stop to the death penalty. The Dietzes' family lashed out.

"You don't know what excruciating is," said Brown's wife, Jeanne. "What's excruciating is seeing your dad lying there in a pool of blood; seeing your sister lying there in a pool of blood."

Randy Browning was not seeking retribution as he sat in the viewing room on June 26, 2013. He was looking for closure.

McCarthy was convicted of killing her 71-year-old neighbor in 1997 during a robbery of the retired psychology professor's home in Lancaster, Texas. Police say the former nursing home therapist beat Booth with a candelabra, stabbed her with a butcher knife, then cut off the elderly woman's finger to steal her wedding ring.

McCarthy, who was linked to two other slayings, became Texas' 500th execution since capital punishment resumed there in 1982.

"She was a vicious, psychopathic serial murderer," says Browning, who credits Booth with setting him on the path to becoming a psychologist.

But as he sat watching her die, he could not help thinking of her own family, viewing the execution from another room.

"I did have feelings of compassion," he said. "Not to the point where I wanted them to stop doing what they were doing. But, I mean, it's just so much suffering."


To Randy Ertman, suffering is beside the point. In June 1993, his 14-year-old daughter Jennifer and Elizabeth Pena, 16, were rushing to make curfew on their way home from a party when they took a shortcut through a Houston neighborhood and stumbled into a gang initiation. What followed was what one prosecutor called a "feeding frenzy" of rape, torture and murder.

Six men were convicted in the killings. Three avoided the death chamber because of their ages at the time of the crimes, but the others were sentenced to die.

Randy Ertman attended all three executions. When told of Woods' slow death in Arizona, Ertman let out a wheezing chuckle.

"Good for him," said the grieving father. "It didn't take him long enough."

Brad Bowser understands Ertman's rage. Glenn L. Benner II was convicted of the 1986 kidnapping, rape and murder of Bowser's 21-year-old sister, Trina, a childhood neighbor in an Akron, Ohio, suburb. Benner left her body in the trunk of her car along a highway. A year earlier, he had strangled Cynthia Sedgwick, 26, in Cuyahoga Falls after a concert.

When Benner died by lethal injection in February 2006, Brad Bowser was there.

"I thought he got off easy," Bowser said. "The way that he killed my sister, and I think for someone just to get a needle put in their arm and be able to go to sleep and go to the next world, or whatever, is about as easy as it gets, you know? I mean, I'm dying of cancer right now, and it's going to be a lot slower, rougher death than what he had."

Still, Bowser was sorry to hear how long it took Wood to die and wonders why the government can't execute people "more efficiently." But he's also angry that it took 20 years for Benner — and even longer for Wood — to be put down.

"The way they're doing it is about as humane as you can get right now," he said.


Clara Byrd Taylor has read her Old Testament and its many references to the ultimate penalty. But her support for capital punishment has always been tempered by doubt.

"Government today being so imperfect, man being so imperfect, there are so many injustices," she said, "it's hard for me to say that in every case I think the death penalty should be carried out."

For the murderers of her brother, she has no such qualms. The evidence was overwhelming.
On June 7, 1998, white supremacists chained James Byrd Jr. by his ankles to the bumper of a pickup truck and dragged him three miles down a rough asphalt road in Jasper, Texas. 

Lawrence Russell Brewer and John William King dumped what was left of Byrd's mangled body outside a black church and cemetery.

Brewer and King were convicted of capital murder. A third man received a life sentence.

Before she died in 2010, Taylor's mother made her promise to see Byrd's killers punished. So when an unrepentant Brewer was executed in September 2011, Taylor stood witness.

"It didn't bring me any sense of peace or relief," she said. "It's just a matter of saying that this one chapter in the book was now closed, and we can move on to the next part of it."

A date has not yet been set for King's execution. When it is, Taylor plans to be there.

"And I hope it goes as peacefully as Brewer's," she said.

Allen G. Breed is a national writer, based in Raleigh, N.C. He can be reached at features@ap.org. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AllenGBreed.

Family of Murder Victims Ream Media Over Concern for Executed Arizona Murderer

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