Arizona began using lethal injection as its execution method in 1992 to replace its gas chamber protocol after the excruciating 11-minute gas chamber execution of Doug Eugene Harding. Up until 2011, Arizona's lethal injection protocol included a series of drugs given in a set sequence: thiopental, a fast-acting barbiturate; a paralytic to paralyze all muscle movement including respiration; potassium chloride to stop the heart. In the last decade, Arizona and other states have struggled to buy execution drugs after U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products in lethal injections. In 2011, the Arizona Department of Corrections, after a long search, imported sodium thiopental, a barbiturate used in the three-drug cocktail from a non-legal source. Soon after, the Department of Justice informed Arizona that the state illegally imported the lethal injection drugs. Undated photo, gurney used for lethal injections at the Arizona State Prison at Florence, Arizona Undated photo, gurney used for lethal injections at the Arizona State Prison at Florence, Arizona Arizona performed its most recent execution in 2014. Joseph Wood was executed using a drug cocktail of Midazolam and Hydromorphone. It took him nearly two hours to die. He was given 15 doses. Wood gasped and snorted for over an hour. A federal judge subsequently issued a stay on executions in Arizona. A federal lawsuit led to a settlement in which the State can no longer use Midazolam in its lethal injection protocol. Arizona began searching for new lethal injection drugs. In 2015, Arizona tried to import illegal lethal injection drugs from India, but the FDA confiscated the drugs at the Phoenix airport. Today, executions are still on hold. However, the State draws exceedingly closer to resuming executions. In October 2020, the Arizona Attorney General's Office and the Arizona Department of Corrections informed Governor Doug Ducey they had found a compound pharmacist to prepare the approved drug, pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is the same drug the federal government used in its recent executions, after an almost two-decade execution hiatus. In March, the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry (ADCRR) notified the Arizona Attorney General that it was ready to commence executions. In April 2021, Arizona gave notice of its intent to move for warrants of execution for two prisoners. Arizona is closer to resuming executions than it has been in years. Last updated on April 20, 2021.