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Death penalty experts say medical staff took too long to insert IV in first Arizona execution in 8 years

The Texas death chamber in Huntsville, Texas, where death-row inmates receive lethal injections.
Joe Raedle
/
Getty Images
The Texas death chamber in Huntsville, Texas, where death-row inmates receive lethal injections.

Death penalty experts say Wednesday's lethal-injection execution of convicted murderer Clarence Dixon took too long to carry out.

Medical staff at the Arizona state prison in Florence spent about 25 minutes inserting an IV. Experts say it should only take about 10 minutes.

Similar problems have occurred before, leading lethal injection executions to be called off. Arizona’s last execution 8 years ago was highly criticized as being botched when the condemned inmate was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over the course of two hours. Witnesses say he gasped for air hundreds of times.

Clarence Dixon was convicted and executed for the 1978 rape and murder of 21-year-old Deana Bowdoin, a student at Arizona State University at the time.