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There were three executions in Arizona in 2022.

A botched execution left convicted murderer Joseph Wood gasping for nearly 2 hours as he was given 15 lethal doses of drugs, setting off three years of litigation that ended with the execution protocol rewritten - but by the time executions resumed eight years later, a lot had changed. Read more»

Among the other ironies of execution is that there is a defibrillator in the death chamber. In the event that a prisoner has a heart attack in the final moments, the medical crew would be able to revive him so that they could kill him again.

Arizona executed 10 men in 2011 and 2012, and the Federal Defender’s Office routinely filed lawsuits about dubious practices and an ever-changing protocol - but there were also problems with the personnel performing the executions. Read more»

U.S. Customs officials advised Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Re-entry officials to send drugs used for executions in small lots through specific airports where they were less likely to be detected to avoid import restrictions.

Modern execution methods are designed as much to increase the comfort of the witnesses as to ease the pain of the person actually being killed, but a search for viable execution drugs caused problems for Arizona and other states looking to execute prisoners. Read more»

It takes decades to get from conviction to execution: 30 prisoners have died on Arizona’s death row while awaiting execution, some of old age.

When done correctly, execution by lethal injection doesn’t look like much of anything - but Arizona has a long history of not doing it correctly - and while "we go to great lengths to try to convince ourselves that this is not a violent act, we are still killing someone.” Read more»

State officials said they will seek a new warrant when the time is right – but that won’t be until after the Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry has fixed its execution protocols.

Aaron Gunches was supposed to die Thursday night - but instead, the convicted murderer will spend at least two more months on Arizona’s death row while courts decide if the state can be forced to carry out an execution it says it is not ready for. Read more»

According to ADCRR, recidivism has decreased by 60% for program participants.

Arizona prisoners hoping to access a transition program that has sharply reduced recidivism would have longer to do so under a new proposal working its way through the state legislature. Read more»

After an eight-year hiatus, Arizona executed three inmates by lethal injection in 2022. The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday set an April 6 execution date for convicted murderer Aaron Gunches.

The Arizona Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the execution of death-row inmate Aaron Gunches, even though state officials were moving to reverse the death warrant that had been put in motion by former Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Read more»

Gov. Katie Hobbs said she created an independent prison oversight commission to address 'really serious corrections issues and a lack of urgency to deal with them and change the way we’re treating folks in our custody in the state.' A federal judge this month ordered significant improvements to health care in the state’s prisons.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed her sixth executive order Wednesday, establishing an independent prison oversight commission to improve the transparency and accountability of Arizona’s corrections system. Read more»

The new order requires Arizona to overhaul its medical and mental healthcare staffing and screening standards, create systems and plans to improve isolation housing and create route back to lower security levels for those inside. 

A U.S. District Judge has ordered the Arizona Department of Corrections to make “substantial” changes to its staffing and facility operations after determining that prison conditions represent an “unconstitutional substantial risk of serious harm” to people in the state’s custody.  Read more»

George Ybarra mientras servía en el Cuerpo de Marines de los EE. UU. y cargaba a su primer hijo, George Jr.

A pesar de su servicio militar y la clara prueba de que George Ybarra era ciudadano del país por el que luchó, funcionarios estadounidenses desafiaron repetidamente su derecho a estar en el país, deportandolo una vez e intendando hacerlo una decada después. Ybarra murió la semana pasada, poco después de ganar su caso de inmigración. Read more»

George Ybarra while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, and holding his first child, George Jr.

Despite military service and clear documentation that George Ybarra was a citizen of the country he fought for, U.S. officials repeatedly challenged his right to be in the country, deporting him once and attempting to do so again a decade later. Ybarra was killed last week, not long after finally winning his immigration case. Read more»

A federal court upheld most of the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry’s policy that prohibits inmates from having sexually explicit materials. Even though it intrudes on the First Amendment, it is justified by the department’s need to maintain a safe, orderly system, the court said.

A federal appeals court upheld the Arizona prison system’s ban on sexually explicit material for inmates, rejecting claims by a censored prison magazine publisher that the policy violates the First Amendment. Read more»

The case began in 2012 when a class of prisoners sued the state, claiming inadequate health care in the prisons led to 'unnecessary pain and suffering, preventable injury, amputation, disfigurement, and death.'

In a decade-long federal class action fight over Arizona’s prison conditions, a federal judge ruled that the state’s privatized prison system failed to provide prisoners with adequate health care and has exposed some to harsh conditions in solitary confinement. Read more»

A member of the National Guard working at the Mariposa border crossing in Nogales in 2018.

A former Arizona Department of Corrections officer was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to smuggling two belt-fed rifles, an AK-47 and 500 AK-47 magazines into Mexico. Read more»

Arizona executed Frank Atwood on Wednesday, the second execution in less than a month for the state. But for family members of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, the 8-year-old Atwood kidnapped and murdered, it was the end of a 37-year wait for justice.

Convicted killer Frank Atwood was executed by lethal injection Wednesday morning, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a bid to stop his execution for the 1984 murder of an 8-year-old Tucson girl. Read more»

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