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The lethal injection chamber at a prison in Phoenix, Ariz. (Photo by Q. Sakamaki/Redux)

State scraps cocktail after 2-hour execution

Arizona is scrapping the lethal injection protocol used in the execution of Joseph Wood, which lasted nearly two hours and took 15 doses. Officials announced the change Monday after a state-commissioned review of the troubling July execution, even as they insisted it was "handled appropriately."The Department of Corrections will no longer use the two-drug combination of midazolam and hydromorphone and will instead rely on a three-drug cocktail that includes midazolam. The agency also has one-drug protocols, but it hasn't been able to obtain those chemicals because manufacturers refuse to sell them to put prisoners to death.Witnesses to Wood's execution described him gasping for more than an hour, and an emergency hearing on whether to stop the procedure and try to resuscitate him was under way when the inmate was finally pronounced dead. In a statement Monday, Corrections Director Charles Ryan said an outside review of the execution showed it was "done appropriately and with the utmost professionalism.

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