State urges court deny appeal by death row inmate - News, Weather & Sports


State urges court deny appeal by death row inmate

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Attorneys for the state of Arizona urged a federal appeals court to reject a death row inmate's request to have his July 23 execution postponed until officials reveal details about the two-drug combination that will be used to put him to death.

Inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood is appealing a decision last week from a lower court judge who rejected arguments that his First Amendment rights were violated by the state's refusal to reveal the drugmakers and other details.

The state's lawyers tell the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday that Wood doesn't have a right to the information he is seeking.

The execution is scheduled for 10 a.m. on July 23 at the Central unit of Arizona State Prison Complex-Florence.

Earlier this month, Wood's attorneys filed a 17-page complaint in U.S. District Court in Phoenix seeking a stay until complete documentation is disclosed to Wood about the source of the drugs expected to be used.

The previous 11 Arizona executions since 2011 used pentobarbital, but its sole manufacturer has refused to sell it to states for use in executions.

The Arizona Department of Corrections now plans to use midazolam and hydromorphone for the first time.

Wood's attorneys say those two drugs have been problematic during recent executions in other states.

The 55-year-old Wood was sentenced to death for the 1989 killings of his 29-year-old estranged girlfriend and her father at a Tucson auto-body shop.

The Arizona Department of Corrections said Wood was convicted of shooting Gene Dietz, 55, in the chest with a .38 caliber revolver.

Gene Dietz's 70-year-old brother tried to stop Wood but Wood pushed him away and shot his ex-girlfriend Debbie Dietz in the stomach and chest.

Wood fled the building, and when officers located him and told him to drop his gun, he pointed it at the officers.

The officers fired back, striking Wood several times.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.