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US Supreme Court greenlights Arizona execution

The US Supreme Court gave the greenlight to Arizona to execute a murderer on Wednesday after he voiced concerns about secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process.

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court gave the greenlight to Arizona to execute a murderer on Wednesday after he voiced concerns about secrecy surrounding the lethal injection process. Joseph Wood had challenged his death penalty sentence for the 1989 shooting deaths of his 29-year-old former girlfriend Debbie Dietz and her father Gene, 55.

Wood, 55, had sought more information about the state's lethal injection method, the executioner's qualifications and the manufacturer of the lethal drugs. Death row inmates have filed similar motions seeking greater transparency in recent months amid concerns about the safety of the lethal drugs and a botched execution in Oklahoma.

The Death Penalty Information Center charged that the high court's decision "allows drug secrecy to continue." The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals had placed a hold on Wood's execution, demanding more information from Arizona.

States that practice the death penalty have relied increasingly on compounding pharmacies, which lack federal approval, since European drugmakers refused to provide products used to execute inmates. Oklahoma suspended its executions for six months after the April death of convicted killer and rapist Clayton Lockett by lethal injection in a process that took 43 minutes, well over the expected time of a little over 10 minutes.

The Supreme Court did not detail its decision in short orders vacating the judgement of the appellate court and denying Wood's request to stay his execution.

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