AG Brnovich announces settlement that could speed up lethal injections

Jul 21, 2020, 4:25 AM
(Getty Images/Ezra Shaw)...
(Getty Images/Ezra Shaw)
(Getty Images/Ezra Shaw)

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced Wednesday his office reached a settlement to conclude a lawsuit challenging the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation and Reentry’s lethal injection procedures.

Arizona has not conducted an execution since 2014 after a law suit was initiated by Arizona death row inmates and the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona.

The suit worked to uncover the identity of lethal injection drug suppliers and sought to ensure the public had a right to view and hear the entirety of an execution.

Brnovich’s settlement ensured that those who provide the supply of lethal injection drugs to the State of Arizona will remain confidential and protected from harassment or retaliation from anti-death penalty activists.

Additionally, as part of the settlement, ADCRR modified its execution protocol and will leave microphones turned on in the execution chamber during executions moving forward.

“Enough is enough,” Brnovich said in a statement.

“Justice demands that the law be enforced and that those convicted of the ultimate crimes be held accountable for their gruesome acts.”

Brnovich said the settlement moves Arizona one step closer to ensuring justice is carried out for victims of the most heinous crimes, such as Debbie Carlson.

Carlson’s daughter, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, was just 8-years-old when she was abducted, raped and murdered.

“Frank Jarvis Atwood was convicted and sentenced to death on May 8th of 1987, yet here we are almost 36 years later and justice has still not been served,” Carlson told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

There are currently 115 inmates on death-row in Arizona — 20 of whom have fully exhausted their appeals. Some of the inmates committed their heinous crimes in the 1970s and early 1980s.

“Our family has endured years of appeals and we have had to endure additional delays because of political activists,” Carlson added.

“How much longer do we have to wait? Frank Jarvis Atwood has been on death row for 33 years. That is too long.”

She is now calling on Gov. Doug Ducey to act.

“I urge you, please start with Frank Atwood,” she said.

“Give our family and our community and all the victims he hurt some closure.”

Last week, General Brnovich sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey, urging him to allow Arizona to resume executions by lethal injection.

Brnovich had previously encouraged the governor to do so in July 2019.

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AG Brnovich announces settlement that could speed up lethal injections