Arizona inmate takes nearly two hours to die in execution

PHOENIX Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:22pm EDT

Joseph Wood is pictured in this undated handout booking photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Corrections.  REUTERS/Arizona Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters

Joseph Wood is pictured in this undated handout booking photo courtesy of the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Credit: Reuters/Arizona Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona death row inmate took almost two hours to die after his execution by lethal injection began on Wednesday, the state's attorney general said.

The execution of convicted double-murderer Joseph Wood began at 1:52 p.m. local time at the state prison in Florence, and the 55-year-old was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said in a statement.

Wood's lawyers had filed an emergency appeal with federal court during the procedure, describing their client as "gasping and snorting for more than an hour."

(Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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