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Understanding the death penalty in Arizona

Executions were previously halted in the state, but are set to resume
Death row
Florence Prison
Posted at 4:09 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 10:54:53-04

FLORENCE, AZ — Arizona is set to mark its first execution since 2014 when Clarence Dixon is put to death Wednesday morning.

Dixon is sentenced for the 1977 killing of an Arizona State University student.

This will be the first execution to happen in Arizona since 2014. There are currently more than 100 inmates on Arizona’s death row, and approximately 24 have exhausted all appeals, according to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Frank Atwood is the next inmate scheduled to be put to death. He was convicted in 1987 for the 1984 murder of an 8-year-old Tucson girl. His execution is set for June 8th.

WOMEN ON DEATH ROW

Of the 113 inmates on death row, three of them are women.

Wendi Andriano is set to be put to death after being convicted in 2004 for killing her terminally ill husband in their Ahwatukee apartment.

Prosecutors argued she tried to poison him and then beat and stabbed him to death one Fall night.

Shawna Forde was convicted in 2011 for the murders of a 9-year-old girl and her father and the attempted murder of the girl’s mother.

Prosecutors argued she planned to rob the man who she thought was a drug dealer in a 2009 home invasion to fund her border watch group, Minutemen American Defense.

Samantha Uriarte Allen has been on death row since 2017 after she was convicted in the 2011 murder of her cousin, Ame Deal.

Investigators say Uriarte and her husband stuffed the 10-year-old girl in a locked box where she suffocated as punishment for stealing a ice pop.

DEATH ROW DEMOGRAPHICS

Death row demographics

Clarence Dixon is set to be executed at Florence State Prison, which is one of three prisons housing Arizona’s death row inmates.

As for the racial and ethnic makeup of the 113 death row inmates, 62 are white, 23 are Mexican American, 18 are Black, five are classified as Native Indian, three are Asian, and two are classified as other, according to the Arizona Department of Corrections.

In the United States, there are about 2,500 men and women on death row.

According to NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Arizona ranks in the top 10 for states with the most death row inmates.

  1. California - 692 
  2. Florida - 330
  3. Texas - 199
  4. Alabama - 170
  5. North Carolina - 139
  6. Ohio - 135
  7. Pennsylvania - 129
  8. Arizona - 113
  9. Nevada - 65
  10. Louisiana - 62

DEATH ROW PRISONER CHOICES

Clarence Dixon will be executed by lethal injection by default after not making a decision himself.

Death row inmates in Arizona have two choices — lethal injection or lethal gas.

Frank Atwood has until May 19 to make his decision on his possible execution method.