SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (News-Leader) – It’s been a little more than a year since Craig Wood was sentenced to death for abducting, raping and killing Springfield 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

But it will likely be a while before Wood, 50, actually faces execution – if he gets that far.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average time from sentencing to execution for a death row prisoner is about 15 years. And less than a quarter of all people sentenced to death are actually executed.

That’s because of a lengthy process of appeals and review that is designed to ensure people are only put to death under the most stringent circumstances.

While no one is debating that Wood killed Hailey, there are some legal questions that could cause a higher court to re-examine the death sentence.

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