PHOENIX – It took the state of Arizona nearly two hours to execute Joseph Wood by lethal injection today. According to his attorneys, Mr. Wood was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour.” Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU of Arizona, issued the following statement:

“The events surrounding Mr. Wood’s execution clearly signal that Arizona must put a moratorium on executions. Until state officials can convince the public and the people we plan to put to death that the process will be transparent and in compliance with the Eighth Amendment, the death penalty must be put on hold. What happened today to Mr. Wood was an experiment that the state did its best to hide. Now we see that our government officials cannot be trusted to take seriously our Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Arizona had clear warnings from Ohio and Oklahoma. Instead of ensuring that a similar outcome was avoided here, our state officials cloaked the plans for Mr. Wood’s death in secrecy. Arizonans should not accept our state’s willingness to abandon one of our most fundamental constitutional obligations.”