By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Lawyers for a double-murderer whose lethal injection in Arizona dragged on for two hours called for an outside review of the "horrifically botched execution" and prompted new calls on Thursday for the United States to abandon the death penalty. The ordeal in putting Joseph Wood to death on Wednesday at a prison facility southeast of Phoenix followed lethal injections that went awry this year in Ohio and Oklahoma, renewing the U.S. debate over capital punishment. Corrections officials said Wood was never in pain but Rob Freer, a U.S. researcher with human-rights group Amnesty International, asked, "How many more times do officials need to be reminded of the myth of the 'humane execution' before they give up on their experiment with judicial killing?" States that impose the death penalty have been scrambling to find new suppliers of chemical combinations to use in lethal injections after their former suppliers, primarily European drug makers, objected to having their products used to put people to death.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sen. John Walsh remained steadfast Thursday amid allegations he plagiarized a research project required for a master's degree, winning fresh backing from fellow Democrats in Montana and the governor who appointed him to the Senate earlier this year.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A second psychiatric examination of accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes, who says he was insane when he shot dead 12 moviegoers two years ago, can be recorded on video, a judge overseeing the case ruled on Thursday. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour ordered a second evaluation in February, siding with prosecutors who said the initial evaluation, whose results have not been made public, was “incomplete and inadequate.” On Thursday, Samour rejected a motion by lawyers for Holmes that filming the second evaluation could violate his right against self-incrimination.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An influential federal appeals court judge said Thursday that the nation's third lethal injection execution to go awry in six months underscores his call to bring back firing squads.
The prolonged execution in Arizona looked troubling, but was it unconstitutional? The U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the use of lethal injection six years ago, has held that "an isolated mishap" during an execution does not violate the Eighth Amendment. A question and answer look at the current state of executions.