Arizona man to be executed over mental health concerns

The Arizona Supreme Court has refused to overturn a lower court decision that a 66-year-old blind man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia deserves the death penalty this week.

Clarence Dixon, scheduled to be executed in a state prison in Florence on Wednesday, was found guilty of the murder of 21-year-old Deana Bowdoin. A separate attack on college students in 1985. Bowdoin’s rape and murder remained unsolved for years until DNA tests could link Dixon to her case.

The High Court refused to review the decision made by a judge in Finale County last week, and the defendants dismissed defense counsel’s claims that his client could not understand why he was executed. , his execution must be stopped.

In the Arizona lower court case, the presiding judge determined that although Dixon clearly suffered from schizophrenia, in his legal opinion the defendant was reasonable enough to understand the proceedings of the court case and therefore understood the reason why he was sentenced to death. .

Dixon’s lawyers are currently working in haste to file a request with a federal judge in Phoenix to consider whether his mental illness would mean an unconstitutional execution.

As of Monday night, Telegraph and Argus Reportedly, this request was not submitted.

If the execution is carried out at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, it will be the first time Arizona has carried out an execution since July 2014.

Joseph Wood, the last person to be executed in Arizona, lay on a stretcher panting and quacking air for two hours, requiring more than a dozen doses. This is 15 times the amount required by the state’s execution protocol. – A lethal drug used to kill prisoners.

Arizona currently has 112 people sentenced to death, and in recent years, as in many states still carrying death sentences across the United States, a growing number of pharmaceutical companies have struggled to procure the execution drugs needed for executions. You have blocked the use of the product.

The pentobarbital Dickson prepared for execution was obtained from an unidentified dispensing pharmacy, the Associated Press reported.

The drugs used in Dixon’s execution were part of a separate lawsuit filed by his lawyers with U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa.

In this case, Dixon attorney Jennifer Moreno argued on behalf of the client that the sedative pentobarbital sodium in solution had expired in February.

However, Judge Humetewa refused to stop the executions after documents provided by the Justice Department revealed that the drug in question did not actually expire until August. mid-April.

In Monday’s late court hearing, Moreno admitted that “the unresolved issues in this case would be resolved” if the new batch could be mixed and tested before Wednesday’s scheduled execution. Breedport News.

Deputy Attorney Generals Jeff Sparks and Ms Moreno have been reconsidered by a district judge and have agreed that mixing the new placement will settle the lawsuit.

Counsel is preparing a last-minute appeal to federal court on the grounds that the 66-year-old blind man, whose health is deteriorating, is mentally unfit for execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court stated that the mental illness of the defendants could make them morally less responsible and should be taken into account in sentencing, but “courts did not prohibit the death penalty for people with serious mental illness.” Death Penalty Information Center.

Despite the court’s position, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Bar Association both supported a ban on the death penalty for people with severe mental illness.

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