PHOENIX — Arizona’s attorney general is pushing the state to move forward with the process to perform the first execution of death row inmates in Arizona since 2014.
Mark Brnovich requested on Wednesday for the Arizona Supreme Court to schedule a meeting with his office so he may file a warrant for the state to execute Frank Atwood and Clarence Dixon.
Atwood was sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of an 8-year-old Tucson girl in 1984. Dixon was convicted for the brutal rape and murder of a 21-year-old ASU student in the 1970s that went unsolved for decades until DNA tracking technology pointed Tempe police to him.
Both men have lost all attempts to appeal their death sentence, according to Brnovich's office.
"Justice has been a long time coming in some of the most heinous crimes committed in our state,” Brnovich said.
The last time Arizona carried out an execution was in 2014 when convicted murderer Joseph Wood died by lethal injection.
Wood’s death stirred controversy after what was alleged to be an ethical, 10-minute execution process ended up taking more than two hours with the 55-year-old inmate gasping for air and convulsing before dying.
A total of 37 people have been executed in Arizona since capital punishment was reintroduced in 1976, and more than 100 inmates are currently on death row.
Brnovich’s office said that the Arizona Supreme Court has not responded to his request yet.
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