Arizona Supreme Court issues execution date for second death row inmate

A judge is considering whether to postpone the execution of an Arizona prisoner who argues the...
A judge is considering whether to postpone the execution of an Arizona prisoner who argues the state’s death penalty procedures would violate his rights by subjecting him to unimaginable pain.(Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry)
Published: May. 3, 2022 at 4:36 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A second Arizona prisoner is scheduled to be executed. The Arizona Supreme Court issued a warrant of execution for Frank Atwood. His execution date is scheduled for June 8. He has until May 19 to choose between the gas chamber or lethal injection. If he doesn’t make a choice, the lethal injection will serve as the default method of execution. Arizona, where the nation’s last lethal-gas execution was carried out more than two decades ago before the United States rejected the brutal nature of the deaths, refurbished its gas chamber in late 2020.

Atwood was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson. She went missing while riding her bicycle to mail a birthday card in Tucson in 1984. He kidnapped the girl, whose body was found 20 miles away in the desert. Atwood has been on death row since 1987.

Earlier this year, state prosecutors told the state’s highest court that they would be looking to execute two death-row inmates, Atwood and Clarence Dixon. Dixon is scheduled to be put to death on May 11 for raping and killing 21-year-old Deana Bowdoin, an ASU student, at her Tempe apartment in 1978. Because Dixon declined to choose the method of execution, he’ll die by lethal injection.

The executions would be the first ones since 2014 when Joseph Rudolph Wood III was executed for shooting his estranged girlfriend and her father in 1989. His lawyers said the execution was “botched” since it appeared he gasped for air and convulsed during the last 25 minutes. The entire execution lasted two hours. It reignited the debate over the death penalty and sparked then-Gov. Jan Brewer to call for a review of the state’s execution procedures.

Arizona has 112 prisoners on death row.