Arizona Murderer -- On Death Row for 24 Years -- Could Have Execution Delayed Because Sedative Drug May Cause Pain

The Arizona State Supreme Court is expected to rule today on whether to allow the execution of a convicted murder -- on death row for the last 24 years -- to go forward.

The hangup isn't determining whether Daniel Wayne Cook is guilty of killing two men in Lake Havasu City in 1987 -- the state already proved that 24 years ago. The problem is determining whether a sedative used in the execution will cause Cook a little pain before he goes.

In November, the court refused to set an execution date for Cook because it was unclear how the state acquired the drug sodium thiopental, a sedative used to knock out the inmate before he's hit with a lethal dose of potassium chloride.

The supply of the drug has dwindled recently because its domestic manufacturer stopped producing it. For other recent executions, the state told the court it acquired the drug from an unnamed British company that wished to remain anonymous because it feared a backlash from anti-death-penalty groups.

Cook's lawyer claims that because the drug isn't manufactured in the U.S., its quality can't be guaranteed and the condemned may suffer some pain before dying.


Your tax dollars have paid for -- at the very least -- housing a convicted murderer living on borrowed time for more than two decades. The potential for a few seconds of pain for a convicted murderer doesn't outweigh the public interest of putting this dog down as quickly as possible. Not to mention, we have a feeling Cook didn't ask the two guys he murdered if they would mind feeling a little pain before they died.

The court is expected to rule this afternoon. Check back to Valley Fever throughout the day for updates.

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James King
Contact: James King