Court to hear appeal from Arizona death row inmate who's scheduled for July 23 execution


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PHOENIX — Attorneys for an Arizona death row inmate are asking a federal appeals court to postpone their client's execution until officials reveal details about the two-drug combination that will be used to put him to death.

The lawyers for inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood filed a brief Monday at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a bid to delay the July 23 execution.

Wood is asking the appeals court to reverse a lower court's decision last week that rejected arguments that the prisoner's First Amendment rights were violated by the state's refusal to reveal the drugmakers and other details.

Attorneys for the state argue there is no First Amendment right to the information Wood sought.

Wood is scheduled to be executed for the August 1989 shooting deaths of his estranged girlfriend, Debra Dietz, and her father, Eugene Dietz, at an automotive shop in Tucson.

Wood's lawyers argue that their client has a First Amendment right of access to non-confidential information connected to executions, which are already open to journalists to attend. They also contend that the access to the executions themselves extends to documents related to such executions.

The appeals court will hear arguments in the case on Friday.

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