- The Washington Times - Friday, July 25, 2014

Sen. John McCain gave a blunt appraisal of the nearly two hours it took to put convicted murderer Joseph Wood to death earlier this week — it’s “torture,” he said.

Wood was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday for fatally shooting his former girlfriend and her father in 1989. But Wood’s execution was botched and took nearly two hours to wrap. Witnesses said they could hear him gasping for breath the entire time, the Daily Mail said.

Now Mr. McCain — who himself was held captive as a prisoner of war in Vietnam and subjected to frequent torture — said the incident was horrific.

“I believe in the death penalty for certain crimes,” the Arizona Republican said, the Daily Mail reported. “But that is not an acceptable way of carrying it out. And people who were responsible should be held responsible. The lethal injection needs to be an indeed lethal injection and not the bollocks-upped situation that just prevailed. That’s torture.”

Wood’s attorneys tried to file an emergency appeal demanding his execution come to a halt, telling the judge in written court documents their client was “gasping and snorting for more than an hour,” the Daily Mail reported.

Still, a relative of the murder victims said Wood hadn’t suffered nearly as much as Debra Dietz and her father, Eugene Dietz, back in 1989.