Family of Executed Man's Victims: 'He Laughed at Us'

Image: Family of Executed Man's Victims: 'He Laughed at Us' (Handout/Reuters/Landov)

Friday, 25 Jul 2014 07:20 AM

By Greg Richter

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Jeanne Brown, whose sister and father were murdered in 1989 by Joseph Rudolph Wood, denied reports that Wood suffered during his execution on Wednesday. She also said he laughed at her and her family.

Wood took more than 90 minutes to die, gasping and snorting the whole time, his lawyers said. State officials and family members of the victim said he was not suffering and was merely snoring.

"I can't tell you that it took too long. I know that he was not gasping for air," Brown said Thursday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity." "I know he was snoring because the microphone did come in within the execution room."

Brown said Wood was fully awake when she, her husband and sister entered the witness room.

"He looked over at my family, my sister, myself and my husband, and actually laughed at us," she said.

Brown was critical of the media for making Wood look like the victim.

Wood was convicted in the 1989 shooting deaths of Debbie Dietz and her father Gene Dietz. Debbie Dietz had taken out a restraining order on Wood, with whom she had formerly had relationship.

His lawyers had been fighting his execution and Brown said he thanked them as part of his last words.

"There was no suffering," Brown said. She said that after Wood received his first injection, he went to sleep like with anesthesia for surgery.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has called for an investigation into why the execution took so long instead of about 10 minutes as authorities expected.

The execution problem comes as part of what The New Republic called "the worst year in the 37-year history of lethal injection." An Ohio inmate in January snorted and gasped during the 25 minutes it took him to die, according to The New Republic. In Oklahoma, an inmate died of a heart attack minutes after prison officials halted his execution because the drugs weren't being administered properly.

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