Arizona Pauses Executions After Gov. Hobbs Orders a Review of the State’s Procedures.
Arizona is halting executions pending a review of the state’s death penalty procedures. The pause comes in the wake of a series of botched and mishandled executions—a pattern going back more than a decade.
“It’s time to address the fact that this is a system that needs better oversight on numerous fronts,” Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a Friday press release. “Arizona has a history of mismanaged executions that have resulted in serious questions and concerns about [the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation, and Reentry’s] execution protocols and lack of transparency.”
On January 20, Hobbs signed an executive order establishing a formal review of the state’s execution procedures. Hobbs’ review will examine the “lethal injection drug and gas chamber chemical procurement process, execution protocols, and staffing considerations including training and experience.”
The same day Hobbs signed that executive order, Arizona state Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) announced that she would not seek court permission to execute any of the state’s 110 death-row prisoners until the review is complete and that her office had withdrawn a request—made by her predecessor—to obtain an execution warrant for one prisoner.
“I applaud the Governor’s decision to establish an Independent Review Commissioner, who will begin thoroughly reviewing the processes governing Arizona’s capital punishment system,” Mayes twe
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