Thursday, November 17, 2022

Arizona and Texas carry out the 14th and 15th executions of 2022

 The 14th and 15th Executions of 2022

Murray Hooper was executed by lethal injection at 10:34 a.m. November 16, 2022. He was the third man to be executed in Arizona and the 14th nationwide this year, reported the Arizona Republic.

Hooper, 76, was convicted in Maricopa County Superior Court in 1982 for his role in the 1980 New Year's Eve murders of William Patrick Redmond, 46, and his 70-year-old mother-in-law Helen Genevieve Phelps.

Hooper always insisted he was framed, but he lost his appeals and the state clemency board refused to halt or delay his execution and rejected his request for time to collect DNA evidence.

Texas’ execution of Stephen Barbee also on November 16, 2022 was the 15th execution this year and was prolonged while prison officials searched for a vein in the disabled man’s body, according to the Texas Tribune.

Barbee, convicted in the 2005 murders of his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her child, had severe joint deterioration which prohibited him from straightening his arms or laying them flat, according to court records. His attorney had recently tried to halt his execution because he feared the process with Barbee’s disability would result in “torture.”

But courts rejected the appeals, noting that prison officials had vowed to make special adjustments to the death chamber’s gurney to accommodate Barbee.

Still, it took much more time to carry out the execution than is typical in Texas. Reporters walked into the prison around 6 p.m., signaling the execution was about to begin. But for an hour and 40 minutes, no one came back out, causing anti-death-penalty protesters outside to grow worried that something had gone wrong. It is uncommon for executions to last more than an hour.

“Due to his inability to extend his arms, it took longer to ensure he had functional IV lines,” prison spokesperson Amanda Hernandez said in an email Wednesday night.

Barbee was pronounced dead at 7:35 p.m., nearly an hour and a half after he was strapped into the death chamber’s gurney, according to the prison’s execution record.

Within minutes of being strapped on the gurney, an IV was inserted into his right hand, at 6:14 p.m., but it took another 35 minutes for an additional line to begin flowing in the left side of his neck. All the while, his friends watched through a glass pane adjacent to the chamber, according to a prison witness list. So did the friends of the murder victims — Lisa Underwood and her 7-year-old son Jayden — as well as Underwood’s mother.

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