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Decide’s ruling clears means for Arizona inmate Clarence Dixon to be executed for 1978 homicide of ASU scholar Deana Bowdoin


A choose has dominated that an Arizona prisoner convicted within the 1978 killing of a college scholar is mentally match to be put to demise subsequent week, protecting on observe what can be the primary execution within the state in almost eight years.

In a ruling signed shortly earlier than midnight Tuesday and launched on Wednesday, Pinal County Superior Courtroom Decide Robert Olson stated that that Clarence Dixon has not met his burden “to point out that his psychological state is so distorted by a psychological sickness that he lacks a rational understanding of the state’s rationale for his execution.”

Dixon was convicted of homicide within the killing of 21-year-old Arizona State College scholar Deana Bowdoin. Dixon is scheduled to be executed on Might 11. 

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Dixon is scheduled to be executed for the 1978 rape and homicide of Arizona State College scholar Deana Bowdoin.

Arizona Division of Corrections/KPHO-TV


Attorneys for Dixon stated they’ll attraction the ruling to the Arizona Supreme Courtroom.

Dixon’s attorneys argued Tuesday in a court docket in Florence, Arizona, that executing him would violate protections in opposition to executing people who find themselves mentally unfit.

They stated 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 scholar. His attorneys concede he was actually lawfully arrested on the time 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, who tried unsuccessfully to get the Arizona Supreme Courtroom to name off the psychological competency listening to, stated there was nothing about Dixon’s beliefs that prevented him from understanding the rationale for the execution and pointed to court docket filings that Dixon himself made over time.

Protection attorneys stated Dixon has been recognized with paranoid schizophrenia on a number of events, has commonly skilled hallucinations over the previous 30 years and was discovered “not responsible by cause of madness” in a 1977 assault case by which the decision was delivered by then-Maricopa County Superior Courtroom Decide 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, in keeping with court docket information.

Authorities have stated Bowdoin, who was discovered useless in her house, had been raped, stabbed and strangled. Dixon had been charged with raping Bowdoin, however the cost was later dropped on statute-of-limitation grounds. He was convicted, although, in her demise.

Along with contesting his psychological health, Dixon’s attorneys made a brand new try on Tuesday to cease his execution.

They filed a lawsuit asking a federal choose to carry off on placing Dixon to demise till corrections officers present that the compounded pentobarbital for use within the execution has been given an expiration date.

A few 12 months in the past, prosecutors took steps to hunt the executions of Dixon and one other death-row prisoner, however the litigation was placed on maintain by the state Supreme Courtroom due to considerations over the expiration date of the drug for use within the deadly injections.

Within the new lawsuit, Dixon’s attorneys stated corrections officers gave them closely redacted information documenting the testing of the drug, however that they did not present the assigned expiration date.

The Arizona Division of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry declined to touch upon the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Supreme Courtroom additionally issued a warrant setting a June 8 execution date for one more death-row prisoner, Frank Atwood, within the killing of 8-year-old Vicki Lynn Hoskinson in 1984. Authorities say Atwood kidnapped the lady, whose physique was discovered within the desert northwest of Tucson.

The final time Arizona used the demise penalty was in July 2014, when Joseph Wooden was given 15 doses of a two-drug mixture in an execution that his attorneys stated was botched. His execution was presupposed to take about 10 minutes. It took nearly two hours — the longest execution in U.S. historical past.

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

Arizona has 113 prisoners on demise row.



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