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Arizona plans to execute Clarence Dixon, its 1st prisoner in nearly 8 years

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Arizona plans to execute Clarence Dixon, its 1st prisoner in almost 8 years

An Arizona man convicted of killing a school pupil in 1978 is scheduled to change into the primary individual to be executed within the state after a virtually eight-year hiatus in its use of the demise penalty.

Clarence Dixon, 66, is scheduled to die by deadly injection Wednesday morning on the state jail in Florence for his homicide conviction within the killing of 21-year-old Arizona State College pupil Deana Bowdoin. If the execution goes forward as deliberate, he would be the sixth inmate to be put to demise in america this 12 months.

In current weeks, Dixon’s attorneys have made arguments to the courts to postpone his execution, however judges had thus far rejected his argument that he’s mentally unfit to be executed and had no rational understanding of why the state needed to place him to demise.

Dixon declined the choice of being executed by the gasoline chamber — a way that hasn’t been utilized in america in additional than twenty years — after Arizona refurbished its gasoline chamber in late 2020. As an alternative, the state plans to executed him with an injection of pentobarbital.

The state’s hiatus in executions was pushed by an execution that critics say was botched and the problem of discovering deadly injection medicine.

The final time Arizona used the demise penalty was in July 2014, when Joseph Wooden was given 15 doses of a two-drug mixture over two hours. Wooden gasped greater than 600 occasions earlier than he died.

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States together with Arizona had struggled to purchase execution medicine lately after U.S. and European pharmaceutical firms started blocking using their merchandise in deadly injections.

Authorities have mentioned Bowdoin, who was discovered lifeless in her house in Tempe, had been raped, stabbed and strangled with a belt.

Dixon, who was an ASU pupil on the time and lived throughout the road from Bowdoin, had been charged with raping Bowdoin, however the cost was later dropped on statute-of-limitation grounds. He was convicted, although, in her demise.

In arguing their shopper was mentally unfit, Dixon’s attorneys have mentioned he erroneously believes he shall be executed as a result of police at Northern Arizona College wrongfully arrested him in a earlier case — a 1985 assault on a 21-year-old pupil. His attorneys concede he was in actual fact lawfully arrested then by Flagstaff police.

Dixon was sentenced to life sentences in that case for sexual assault and different convictions. DNA samples taken whereas he was in jail later linked him to Bowdoin’s killing, which at that time had been unsolved.

Prosecutors mentioned there was nothing about Dixon’s beliefs that forestalls him from understanding the rationale for the execution and pointed to court docket filings that Dixon himself made over time.

Protection attorneys have mentioned Dixon has been recognized with paranoid schizophrenia on a number of events, has repeatedly skilled hallucinations over the previous 30 years and was discovered not responsible by cause of madness in a 1977 assault case during which the decision was delivered by then-Maricopa County Superior Courtroom Choose Sandra Day O’Connor, almost 4 years earlier than her appointment to the U.S. Supreme Courtroom. Bowdoin was killed two days after the decision, based on court docket data.

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One other Arizona death-row prisoner, Frank Atwood, is scheduled to be executed June 8 within the killing of 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson in 1984. Authorities say Atwood kidnapped the lady, whose physique was discovered within the desert northwest of Tucson.

Arizona has 113 prisoners on demise row.

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