PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors on Thursday asked the Arizona Supreme Court to issue a warrant of execution for a convicted murderer who, if executed, would be the first use of the death penalty by the state. State in seven years.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office filed the request for an execution warrant against Clarence Dixon, who was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1977 student murder.
The last time Arizona used the death penalty was in 2014, when Joseph Wood received 15 doses of a combination of two drugs over two hours during an execution that his lawyers said had been sloppy.
Almost a year ago, prosecutors moved to seek the execution of Dixon and Frank Atwood, a death row inmate in an unrelated case, but the litigation was stayed by the state Supreme Court due to concerns about the expiration date of the drug to be used in lethal injections.
A 2017 rule on Arizona’s death penalty protocol said the state would only use chemicals in an execution with an expiration date later than the date of the scheduled execution.
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As they sought to have Dixon and Atwood executed last year, prosecutors said the shelf life for the drug to be used was 45 days, half of what they previously thought.
Last month, the state resumed its legal efforts to move forward with their executions and said it had conducted specialized testing and determined that the drug’s shelf life was at least 90 days.
Cary Sandman, one of Dixon’s attorneys, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday afternoon.
Dixon’s attorneys had asked the state’s highest court to either reject the state’s offer for an execution warrant or stay the decision on the request until their client challenges the DNA evidence. is concluded in a lower court and prosecutors have shown evidence establishing the retention period. medication date.
States including Arizona have struggled to buy enforcement drugs in recent years after US and European drug companies began blocking the use of their products in lethal injections. Last year, Arizona Corrections officials revealed they had finally secured a lethal injection drug and were ready to resume executions.
Dixon was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1977 murder of Deana Bowdoin, a 21-year-old student at Arizona State University.
Atwood was convicted and sentenced to death for killing 8-year-old Vicki Lynn Hoskinson in 1984. Authorities say Atwood kidnapped the girl, whose body was found in the desert northwest of Tucson.
Arizona has 112 prisoners on death row.
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