Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced that the Arizona Supreme Court has issued an execution warrant for Clarence Dixon. This is the first execution warrant issued in Arizona in approximately 8 years.
“I made a promise to Arizona voters that people who commit the ultimate crime get the ultimate punishment,” said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. “I will continue to fight every day for justice for victims, their families, and our communities.”
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. Dixon has since exhausted all of his appeals.
The execution will be set for 35 days from today, May 11th. This will be the first execution Arizona has carried out since 2014. Since the crime occurred before November 1992, Dixon, 66, can select either lethal injection or gas.
Frank Atwood, the other man on death row Brnovich is seeking an execution warrant for, was found guilty and sentenced to death for the killing of 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson in 1984.
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.