Arizona executions on hold amid review ordered by governor

Az24 News

review ordered by governor; Arizona’s Attorney General has halted executions in the state pending. A review of the state’s death penalty rules ordered. Bby the new governor because of a history of mishandling of executions in the state.

review ordered by governor; The review was order Friday by Gov. Katie Hobbs, Arizona’s first Democrat since 2009. After new Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes withdrew her Republican predecessor’s request to execute a convicted murderer. Who had originally sought his execution. declined this request. While Hobbs’ order did not declare a moratorium on the death penalty. Mayes is not seeking a court order to execute the inmates while the review is pending. Mayes spokesman Richie Taylor said. The review comes days after the governor named Maine prison official Ryan Thornell as Arizona’s new corrections director.

“With the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation. Reentry under new leadership, it’s time to address the fact that this is a system that needs better oversight on multiple fronts,” Hobbs said.

Among other things. The audit will examine the government’s procurement process for lethal injection drugs and lethal gas. Execution processes, news organizations’ access to executions and the training of personnel to carry out executions.

Arizona, which currently has 110 inmates on death row. Carried out three executions last year after a nearly eight-year hiatus caused by a misjudgment of a 2014 execution. Difficulties in obtaining execution tools.

review ordered by governor; The state revealed in October 2020. That it had found a pharmacist to administer lethal injections Announced in the spring of 2021. That it had finally received the lethal injection.

Since the executions resume. The state has been criticize for taking too long to insert IVs into the bodies of condemn inmates in early May. For refusing an invitation from the Arizona Republic newspaper to witness the last three executions.

“These problems go back more than a decade,” said Dale Baich, a former federal attorney who teaches death penalty law at Arizona State University. “The Department of Corrections, the governor and the attorney general (in previous administrations) have ignored the problems and refused to take a hard look at the problems. Governor Hobbs and Attorney General Mayes are to be commend for taking this issue seriously.”

review ordered by governor; Mayes on Friday withdrew a proposal by his Republican predecessor, Mark Brnovich, to authorize the execution of Aaron Gunches, who was first sentenced to death in 2008 for killing his girlfriend’s ex-husband. Gunches withdrew his request for his execution earlier this month, citing what he believed to be “torture” in recent executions.

“That situation has changed today,” Mayes said. “However, that’s not the only reason I’m asking for the previous proposal to be withdrawn,” Mayes said. “A thorough review of Arizona’s death penalty protocols and processes is need.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs speaks on the set of “Arizona Horizon” prior to a televised interview with host Ted Simons in Phoenix, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022. Hobbs will face Republican Kari Lake for Arizona governor in the November general elections. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The state’s nearly eight-year hiatus came after a 2014 execution in which Joseph Wood was inject with 15 doses of a combination of two drugs over two hours, causing the death row inmate to snore repeatedly and gasp more than 600 times before he died. According to his lawyers, the execution was unlawful.

In the past, Arizona and other states have struggled to buy the execution drugs after U.S. and European drug Companies Began Blocking their products from being use in lethal injections.

In July 2015, the state attempt to import sodium thiopental, which was use to carry out executions but was no longer manufactured by companies approve by the US Food and Drug Administration. The state never received the shipment because federal agents intercepted it at the Phoenix airport, and the state lost an administrative challenge to the seizure.

Arizona is the only state currently operating a gas chamber.
The last fatal gas attack in the United States was carry out in Arizona More Than two Decades ago. The state restarted the gas chamber at the end of 2020. Corrections officials declined to say why the gas chamber was restart.

All three of the inmates executed in Arizona last year refuse the lethal gas, so they were execut by injection, the default method of execution.

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