Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to set briefing schedules to allow his office (AGO) to file warrants of execution for Arizona death row inmates Frank Atwood and Clarence Dixon. Both men have exhausted all of their appeals.
“Justice has been a long time coming in some of the most heinous crimes committed in our state,” said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “It is our solemn duty to fulfill these court-ordered sentences on behalf of the victims, their loved ones, and our communities.”
The AGO is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to establish firm briefing schedules before filing the execution warrants to ensure the Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry (ADCRR ) can comply with its testing and disclosure obligations. This will guarantee strict compliance with the current lethal-injection protocol and a related settlement.
Currently, there are more than 100 inmates on Arizona’s death row and approximately 20 have exhausted all appeals. Many of their crimes go back to the 1970s and early 80s. Arizona has not carried out an execution since 2014.
If the Arizona Supreme Court agrees to the AGO’s proposed schedule, the AGO will file execution warrants for Atwood and Dixon 30 days before the Court’s conference date.
Atwood and Dixon will get 10 days to respond, and the AGO will have the opportunity to respond, if necessary, within 5 days. If the Arizona Supreme Court grants the motions, Arizona will carry out the execution 35 days from the date the execution warrants are issued.
Frank Atwood murdered 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson in September 1984. Atwood had been convicted in California of lewd and lascivious acts and kidnapping, committed at separate times against two different children. In May 1984, he was paroled from the kidnapping sentence. Atwood came to Tucson in September 1984 in violation of his California parole. On September 17, 1984, Vicki Lynne was riding her bicycle home after mailing a birthday card to her aunt when Atwood kidnapped and killed her. Atwood left her body in the desert and fled to Texas, where he was later arrested. A hiker found Vicki’s body in the Tucson desert in April 1985.
On January 7, 1978, 21-year-old Deana Bowdoin, an ASU student, was raped, strangled, and stabbed to death in her Tempe apartment. Police couldn’t find her killer, and her case became cold. About 20 years later, a Tempe Police Detective re-opened the case and, with the technological advancement of DNA profiling, was able to identify a suspect. Clarence Dixon was already serving a life sentence in an Arizona prison for a 1986 sexual assault conviction. Dixon was indicted for Bowdoin’s murder in 2002. A jury found Dixon guilty and sentenced him to death.
Atwood and Dixon may select either lethal injection or gas under ARS 13-757 because they murdered their victims before November 23, 1992.