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Arizona prisoner won’t be executed in gas chamber

Frank Atwood is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on June 8.
Frank Atwood is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on June 8.(Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry)
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 3:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) — An Arizona prisoner is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on June 8 for killing an 8-year-old girl. Frank Atwood declined to pick a way to die between the needle and the gas chamber, so the default method is lethal injection was chosen. He’s the second death-row prisoner who rejected lethal gas since the state refurbished its gas chamber in 2020. It uses hydrogen cyanide, the same gas the Nazis used to kill millions of Jewish people, and is the only working gas chamber in the nation. The last prison executed by lethal gas was in Arizona in 1999.

In September 1984, Atwood kidnapped Vicki Lynne Hoskinson while she was riding her bicycle to mail a birthday card to her aunt in Tucson. Her remains were found northwest of Tucson in April 1985. Experts could not determine the cause of death from the bones that were found, according to court records. Atwood was arrested in Texas and a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder in 1987. He was sentenced to death.

Last week, death row prisoner Clarence Dixon was put to death by lethal injection, making it the first execution in Arizona since the “botched” execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood III in July 2014. Dixon also declined to choose his execution method. Arizona now has 112 prisoners left on the state’s death row.

Arizona’s Family News Staff contributed to this report.

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