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Arizona death row prisoner Clarence Dixon seeks clemency citing mental illness, disabilities

Arizona death row prisoner seeks clemency citing mental illness, disabilities

Clarence Dixon was convicted and sentenced to dying in 2002 for the 1978 rape and homicide of 21-year-old Deana Bowdoin, an Arizona State College scholar. File Photograph courtesy of the Arizona lawyer common’s workplace

April 26 (UPI) — Attorneys for an Arizona dying row prisoner filed a petition for clemency for his or her shopper Tuesday, citing his psychological sickness, bodily disabilities and abuse as a baby.

Clarence Dixon, 66, is scheduled to be executed Could 11 for the 1978 rape and homicide of 21-year-old Deana Bowdoin, an Arizona State College scholar.

His listening to earlier than the Arizona Board of Government Clemency is ready to happen Thursday.

The petition comes one week after a choose dominated towards Dixon’s problem of the make-up of the clemency board. In a courtroom submitting, his attorneys mentioned the board would not give him honest consideration as a result of it consists of too many former legislation enforcement officers.

State legislation prevents greater than two folks from the identical occupation from serving on the board, which at present has three former legislation enforcement officers. Maricopa County Superior Courtroom Decide Stephen Hopkins dominated, although, that “legislation enforcement” is not thought of a occupation beneath the statute.

“Forcing Clarence Dixon to hunt clemency from an illegally composed board stacked with legislation enforcement officers is profoundly unfair,” lawyer Joshua Spears mentioned Tuesday. “However as a result of his psychological incompetence, bodily disabilities, and traumatic life historical past current compelling grounds for govt clemency, we should guarantee he doesn’t forfeit his alternative to pursue that aid.”

Within the clemency petition, Dixon’s attorneys mentioned their shopper has had untreated paranoid schizophrenia for some 4 a long time. They mentioned he’d been discovered legally insane in connection to a different crime two days after the slaying of Bowdoin.

The attorneys additionally took difficulty together with his trial choose permitting him to signify himself “regardless of his apparent psychological sickness.”

“Self-representation meant that the jury by no means discovered essential mitigating proof about Mr. Dixon’s traumatic childhood and the madness findings shortly earlier than the crime occurred,” a information launch from Dixon’s attorneys mentioned.

The submitting mentioned Dixon’s father bodily and verbally abused, and uncared for his household, whereas his mom additionally used derogatory language towards her kids. Each dad and mom struggled to feed and care for his or her kids on the Navajo Nation, inflicting Dixon to expertise starvation, melancholy and suicidal ideation.

As a younger grownup, he abused alcohol and medicines, and started displaying indicators of psychological sickness.

Along with psychological sickness, Dixon’s attorneys say he has losing syndrome, a number of coronary heart, lung, liver and bladder illnesses, and glaucoma.

“Clarence’s superior age and declining well being current the danger that his execution by deadly injection utilizing pentobarbital would doubtless lead to undue struggling,” the petition reads. “His lungs, liver and coronary heart are broken sufficient that it’d take longer to flow into the remedy to succeed in full toxicity dose leaving him feeling a few of the results of pentobarbital however not all of them.”

Arizona Legal professional Normal Mark Brnovich earlier this month objected to a psychological competency listening to scheduled for Could 3, saying it could doubtless delay the Could 11 execution.

Arizona final carried out an execution on July, 23, 2014, that of Joseph Wooden. It took 15 doses of a brand new mixture of medication — midazolam and hydromorphone — and a couple of hours for Wooden to die.

He was the second inmate to be given the two-drug cocktail after Arizona misplaced its European provider of pentobarbital. The European Union voted in 2011 to ban the sale of the drug to the US due to its use in executions.

After Wooden’s dying, the state determined to now not use the midazolam and hydromorphone mixture of medication, successfully implementing a moratorium on executions till an alternate drug cocktail may very well be legally secured.

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