Vicki Hoskinson

A prisoner convicted of k*illing an 8-year-old girl in Arizona in 1984 is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, marking the state’s second execution since officials resumed carrying out the death penalty in May after a nearly eight-year hiatus.

Frank Atwood, age 66, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence for the mu*rder of Vicki Hoskinson, whose body was discovered in the desert. Prior to her disappearance, she had left her Tucson home to deliver a birthday card to a nearby mailbox.

Atwood will become the second Arizona prisoner to be executed in less than a month if the execution is not halted by a court order. The execution of Clarence Dixon last month ended Arizona’s moratorium on executions, which had been attributed to the difficulty of obtaining lethal injection drugs and criticism over a botched execution in 2014.

Opponents of the death penalty are concerned that Arizona will now begin executing prisoners who have languished on death row, but state officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on their future execution plans. In Arizona, which has 112 prisoners on death row, including Atwood, no additional executions have been scheduled.

In recent weeks, judges have rejected attempts by Atwood’s attorneys to delay the execution. He insists on his innocence.

Atwood’s attorneys contend that his degenerative spinal condition would make it excruciatingly painful for him to be strapped to a gurney, on which prisoners receive lethal injections. The attorneys have also questioned whether state officials met a requirement that the expiration date of the lethal injection drug fall after the execution date.

In court filings, Atwood’s attorneys also argued that the aggravating factor that made his crime eligible for the death penalty was improperly applied. He was convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14 in California in 1975, and he was convicted of Vicki’s m*urder in 1987. In the past, judges have rejected this legal argument.

Prosecutors assert that Atwood is attempting to delay his execution indefinitely through legal maneuvers, claiming that his pain will be alleviated by propping him up with a pillow on his back.

The tilting capability of the gurney. The prosecutors stated that Atwood can continue taking his spinal condition-related pain medication prior to the execution and will be given a mild sedative before it begins.

Vicki’s skeletal remains were discovered in the desert northwest of Tucson nearly seven months after her disappearance, according to authorities. Using the remains, experts were unable to determine the cause of death, according to court documents.

In Arizona, inmates are permitted to choose between a gas chamber and lethal injection, but he declined, leaving him to be executed by lethal injection, the state’s default method.

Even though he did not choose the gas chamber, Atwood’s attorneys challenged the state of Arizona’s gas chamber procedures.

They stated that Atwood has the right to choose between constitutionally permissible execution methods and suggested that the state switch its lethal gas from hydrogen cyanide gas to nitrogen gas because nitrogen gas would result in painless deaths. Prosecutors in Arizona replied that nitrogen-based executions are “untried and untested.”

Atwood’s attorneys argued that the state’s lethal gas protocol requiring the use of hydrogen cyanide gas, which was used in some past U.S. executions and by the Nazis to k*ill 865,000 Jews at Auschwitz alone, is unconstitutional and would cause excruciating levels of pain.

Only Arizona, California, Missouri, and Wyoming contain decades-old toxic gas.

There are still execution laws on the books. Arizona, which carried out the last execution by gas chamber in the United States more than two decades ago, is the only state with a functioning gas chamber.

In recent years, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Alabama have passed laws permitting executions with nitrogen gas, at least in certain circumstances, despite the fact that experts have stated that this has never been done and that no state has established protocols to permit it.

Dixon was executed on May 11 for the 1978 mu*rder of Deana Bowdoin, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student. Dixon was convicted of mu*rdering Bowdoin.

Experts on the death penalty criticized his execution because it took 30 minutes for officials to insert an intravenous line into his body and 10 minutes for him to die.

Seven to ten minutes, they said, should elapse between the insertion of the IV and the moment the prisoner is pronounced dead.

The execution team initially attempted to insert an IV into Dixon’s left arm, but were unsuccessful.

were successful in connecting it to his right arm. They then made an incision in his groin to insert a second intravenous line.

Dixon’s execution was the first in the state since the execution of Joseph Wood in July 2014, who was administered 15 doses of a two-drug cocktail over nearly two hours.

Wood repeatedly snorted and gasped before passing away. His attorney claimed that the execution was botched.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *