TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture.
The Republican who represents the conservative state told Politico that he supports capital punishment for certain crimes but felt Wednesday's execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood was a "bollocks-upped situation."
The execution brought new attention to the death penalty debate in the United States as opponents said it was proof that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment.
Arizona lawmakers say the debate is not likely to have an impact on practices in the state.
It took Wood nearly two hours to die after he received a lethal injection with a combination of the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone. He spent more than 90 minutes gasping for air every five to 12 seconds before he finally stopped breathing.
Arizona has suspended executions while an investigation is conducted.
In the interview with Politico published Thursday, McCain said people responsible should be held accountable in the execution of Wood.
"The lethal injection needs to be an indeed lethal injection and not the bollocks-upped situation that just prevailed. That's torture," the senator said.
Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin said he supports a review of the Wood execution but it's not likely that state legislators will change their minds about the death penalty.
The execution of Wood was the third to go awry this year in the country.