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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Several news organizations have filed a lawsuit against Arizona that says the public has a First Amendment right to information about its execution protocols.
The suit, filed Thursday, stems from the July 23 execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood that lasted nearly two hours and required 15 doses of the sedative midazolam and a painkiller. Wood, convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend and her father, took deep gasps for more than 90 minutes before he died.
The news organizations filing the lawsuit include The Associated Press, the Arizona Republic, the Arizona Daily Star, Phoenix TV stations KPNX and KPHO, and Guardian News and Media.
Wood's defense attorney, Dale Baich, called it a botched execution, a claim Arizona Department of Corrections Director Charles Ryan adamantly denies. Baich has also filed a lawsuit on behalf of Wood and other death row inmates seeking details about execution protocols and citing the First Amendment.
"No proper basis exists for (the Department of Corrections) to abridge the public's constitutional right of access to this information and to the execution," the AP lawsuit states.
Information about Arizona's lethal injection drugs had been public until 2010, a few months before the state had to find new drugs and a manufacturer after an Illinois-based pharmaceutical company stopped making the drug that had been used for several years.
Since then, officials have refused to disclose the source, composition and quality of the drugs despite public and media requests. The issue has come up in other states as prison officials have refused to release information about execution protocols.
"By protecting the identity of its commercial drug suppliers, the ADC is intentionally thwarting the right of interested parties to engage in constitutionally protected activity, as well as the First Amendment right of plaintiffs to report on the identity and qualifications of drug suppliers, to report on the quality and efficacy of the drugs used, or to report on deviations from the intended protocol," the lawsuit states.
Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux said Monday that the department does not comment on pending litigation. Arizona has less than three weeks to respond to the lawsuit in court.
The lawsuit discusses the long history of executions in Arizona and across the nation, including hangings, the gas chamber and the current method of lethal injection. In those executions, the suit says, states established a precedent over the years to keep the public informed of the methods, such as disclosing the maker of poisons used in gas chambers.
The AP and other media organizations are asking a federal judge to require the state to reveal the details. Magistrate Judge Bridget S. Bade has been assigned to the case.
Mesa’s Sun Valley High School is mourning the loss of a beloved friend after teacher Marcus Reid was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier this month. Students and faculty at the school worked together to plan funeral services for the man who had no legal family but counted his peers and students as such.
In this Feb. 3, 2010, file photo, Cook County Board of Elections workers count paper ballots in Chicago from an Illinois primary election the day before.
Sun Valley High School students in Mesa are working to arrange funeral services for Marcus Reid, a teacher with no immediate family who recently died after a motorcycle accident.
Two women who said they were raped by the same person at two different hotels in Mesa are suing the hotels that hired the person, alleging they did not conduct a background check on a known sex offender.
President Obama’s decision to delay his executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections exposes him as a bully and a tyrant. His goal is to take away the ability of the American people to influence their government.
School officials are warning lawmakers that if they don't take a deal to settle the inflation adjustment lawsuit — and soon — taxpayers could be on the hook for another $1.3 billion.
Tempe is one of the nation's top best college towns, according to Liveability.com.
Goodnight Pediatrics has added a fifth location with the opening of a facility at the Gilbert Tuscany Village Property.
Alyssa Kimble, a soon-to-be fourth-grader in White Plains, N.Y., says she uses the desk in her bedroom for “everything” — creating lesson plans for her make-believe school, writing stories and storing stuff.
One of the candidates claims he would make Arizona students learn civics as a graduation requirement. I think it was ‘the Ducey.’ Hope the course includes the topic on who is responsible for illegal immigration. Maybe Dougy needs to retake it.
When legal immigrants arrived at Ellis Island and were sick, they were sent back. Today, illegal immigrants are given health care better than many veterans.
Has anyone noticed how professional unions have an opinion on a variety of political issues? Killing the unborn, for example, seems to be a major component of organized labors’ campaigns. Political advertising is expensive. So, where, exactly, have those big bucks come from?
WASHINGTON • Five years after the Great Recession officially ended, most states still haven’t regained all the jobs they lost, even though the nation as a whole has.
Ernest Hemingway lived, drank, fished and wrote in many locales around the country and the world. One of his most celebrated haunts is Key West, Florida, where the late writer's birthday is marked each July with a Hemingway look-alike contest and other festivities, some held at one of his favorite bars. But fans following the Hemingway trail will also find museums, homes and other places connected to him in Illinois, Idaho, Arkansas and Cuba. Here's a list.
FILE - This July 30, 2007 file photo shows coins left by visitors at the grave of Ernest Hemingway in Ketchum, Idaho. The house nearby in Ketchum that was owned by the famed novelist now belongs to the Nature Conservancy as part of a private preserve. There are sites connected to Hemingway in many different locales including Florida, Cuba, Arkansas, Idaho and Illinois (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - In this July 21, 2013 file photo originally provided by the Florida Keys News Bureau, Stephen Terry poses in Ernest Hemingway's one-time study at the Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, Fla. Terry, 56, beat 125 other contestants in an Ernest Hemingway look alike contest during Key West's annual Hemingway Days festival celebrating anniversary of the author's birth. There are sites connected to Hemingway in many different locales including Florida, Cuba, Arkansas, Idaho and Illinois. (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman, File)
FILE - This June 18, 2009 file photo shows a 1930s era typewriter on a desk in the loft of a converted barn once used as a studio by author Ernest Hemingway on his then inlaws' property in Piggott, Ark. There are sites connected to Hemingway in many different locales including Florida, Cuba, Arkansas, Idaho and Illinois. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
This undated image provided by the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oark Park shows Hemingway’s birthplace in Oak Park, Ill. The home, where the author lived as a young boy, can be visited along with a nearby museum. It’s one of a number of Hemingway sites in Florida, Idaho, Arkansas, Cuba and Illinois. (AP Photo/The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park)
FILE - This July 21, 2012 file photo shows bartender Alejandro Bolivar preparing a daiquiri at El Floridita tavern in Old Havana, Cuba, to honor the 195th anniversary of the bar and the anniversary of the birth of its most famous frequent customer, novelist Ernest Hemingway, of whom a life-sized sculpture sits barside. Legend has it that Hemingway once downed 13 doubles in one sitting. There are sites connected to Hemingway in many different locales including Florida, Cuba, Arkansas, Idaho and Illinois. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes, File)
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama, who has said he would "have to think long and hard" before letting a son play football because of the risk of head injuries, is planning a summit this month on youth sports safety and concussions.
Mesquite High School graduate Matthew Baris recently completed his U.S. Navy basic training at Recruit Training Command in Great Lakes, Ill.
Benedictine University at Mesa has started a new scholarship to honor Mesa Community College President Shouan Pan.