Court Allows Arizona AG to Seek Execution Date for Frank Atwood Despite Serious Unanswered Questions About His Conviction

Posted by emily on May 25, 2021
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(May 25, 2021) Despite the many unanswered questions that leave grave doubt about whether Frank Atwood is responsible for the crime for which he faces execution, the Arizona Supreme Court has granted the state Attorney General’s motion to begin the process of setting an execution date for him this fall. The court’s ruling allows the Attorney General to formally request, in July, an execution warrant for Mr. Atwood, setting the stage for an execution date by as soon as late September.

Arizona has not carried out an execution since 2014, when it took nearly two hours to end the life of Joseph Wood. In opposing the Attorney General’s motion, Mr. Atwood pointed to the State’s failure to establish that it can comply with Arizona’s own execution protocol using unregulated, compounded pharmaceuticals. The Attorney General’s proposed timeline for executions means that it is picking up where it left off in 2014, once again risking a botched execution. Despite the red flags surrounding the shadowy lethal injection plans, the Arizona Supreme Court denied Mr. Atwood’s request to hear evidence about the execution protocol.

Below is a statement from Joseph Perkovich, an attorney for Frank Atwood:

“Given the persisting serious unanswered questions about Frank Atwood’s conviction and sentence, the State should not seek an execution warrant. Moreover, much more needs to be learned about the compounded pharmaceuticals Arizona plans to use in the numerous executions the Attorney General has stated he expects to carry out. Arizona’s courts need to ensure that the State does not attempt executions with inadequate drugs that would fail to take the condemned’s life or would cause severe pain in violation of the Constitution. Mr. Atwood, who is 65 years old and has been wheelchair-bound for years due to severely degenerative spinal conditions, presents special risks for a failed execution. The State of Arizona’s abysmal track record requires meaningful scrutiny of its plan but, so far, the state judiciary has shown no regard for the gravity of the power that the Attorney General intends to exercise.”

– Joseph Perkovich, attorney for Frank Atwood

– May 25, 2021
Order (from AZ Supreme Court) for Filing of the Motion for Warrant of Execution of Mr. Atwood:


For more information or to speak with an attorney, please contact Joseph Perkovich, gro.kcalbspillihpnull@hcivokrep.j

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