Arizona Will Execute Joseph Wood After Brief Court-Ordered Stay

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Wood. Via AP

Arizona's execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood III will proceed Wednesday after a brief stay of execution, according to the Associated Press. After considering Wood's argument over drug secrecy, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected his appeal and cleared the execution to proceed. 

Arizona's Supreme Court granted Joseph Rudolph Wood III a temporary stay of execution earlier Wednesday to give the court time to consider his appeal. Wood's petition argues that he didn't receive adequate representation at his sentencing, and challenges the state's secrecy over its lethal injection drugs. 

Wood was convicted of murdering his estranged girlfriend and her father twenty years ago, and was scheduled to be executed at 1 pm EDT on Wednesday, according to Buzzfeed. In June, Wood filed for an injunction arguing that the state's failure to disclose which chemicals compose the lethal injection violated his First Amendment rights. 

The death penalty has come under scrutiny in recent months as a shortage of traditional chemicals used in lethal injections has forced states to use new drugs they're less inclined to disclose. In April, Oklahoma used a new, untested mixture of drugs that led to the botched execution of Clayton Lockett

This isn't the first time the courts granted a brief stay of execution before allowing the sentence to proceed. In January the U.S. Supreme Court granted a temporary stay of execution for a Missouri man over drug secrecy, but the execution happened the next day. 

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