Lawyers file motion to prohibit Arizona’s first execution in nearly 8 years
PHOENIX — Lawyers for death row inmate Clarence Dixon have filed a motion to prohibit the state from executing him as scheduled on May 11.
Dixon would be the first death row inmate executed by the state of Arizona since 2014 if the motion fails.
“Arizona’s standard for adjudicating an individual’s competency to be executed conflicts with the federal constitutional standard,” Dixon’s lawyers said in the motion.
He was convicted of killing 21-year-old college student Deana Bowdoin in 1977, two days after he was released without supervision for an unrelated assault charge after being found not guilty due to insanity.
His lawyers state in the motion that Dixon lacks the capacity to understand the reason for his planned execution due to schizophrenia, which deludes his thinking.
“His concept of reality is so impaired that he cannot form a rational understanding of ‘the retributive message society intends to convey with a death sentence,’” lawyers said in the motion.
The memo sent that announced the motion states that he was found incompetent by two court-appointed psychiatrists.
Arizona has 112 prisoners on death row.
The last time Arizona used the death penalty was on a prisoner who was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over two hours in an execution that his lawyers said had been botched.