The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday denied Arizona’s request that it rehear a challenge to inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood's demand to know the drugs to be used for his execution.
Wood was convicted in a 1989 double murder in Tucson. He shot his former girlfriend, Debbie Dietz, and her father, Gene Dietz, at the body shop where the Dietzes worked. Wood had been scheduled for execution Wednesday.
The state is expected to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of keeping the names of the execution drugs secret and using them to put him to death.
In Monday's decision, 9th Circuit Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote a dissent that seemed to call for a halt to the use of drugs for execution.
“If we as a society want to carry out executions, we should be will to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf," Kozinski wrote.
He went on to write that if executions are to continue, states and the federal government should return to “more primitive and foolproof” methods.
“The guillotine is probably the best but seems inconsistent with our national ethos. And the electric chair, hanging and the gas chamber are each subject to occasional mishaps. The firing squad strikes me as the most promising.”
“…nobody can argue that the weapons are put to a purpose for which they were not intended: firearms have no purpose other than destroying their targets.”
"Sure, firing squads can be messy, but if we are willing to carry out executions, we should not shield ourselves from the reality that we are shedding human blood.”