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Arizona Death Row Inmate Dies Of Complications From COVID-19

Alfonso Salazar
Arizona Department of Corrections
handout | agency
Alfonso Salazar

An Arizona death row inmate has died due to complications from COVID-19.

Alfonso Salazar was housed at the state prison in Florence, Central Unit. He had been hospitalized since April 21.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner's website shows Salazar's death occurred April 30.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Dale Baich says his office was advised today that "Mr. Salazar passed away late this morning as a result of complications from COVID-19. He died in the hospital."

“The prison was slow to act,” Baich said, “and is not being transparent about its handling of the pandemic. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, medical care in Arizona prisons was poor and it is the subject of ongoing litigation."

Baich says Salazar was sentenced to die but not like this.

“This is a critical time, and states must do much more to protect public health and to provide better care and more transparency as this virus moves through the country's prison population,” Baich said.

The Arizona Department of Corrections has so far not confirmed any inmate deaths related to COVID-19.

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Jimmy Jenkins is a senior field correspondent at KJZZ and a contributor to NPR’s Election 2020 and Criminal Justice station collaborations. His work has been featured on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here and Now, The Takeaway and NPR Newscasts.Originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, Jenkins has a B.S. in criminology from Indiana State University and a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.Much of his reporting has focused on the criminal justice system. Jenkins has reported on Tasers, body cameras, use of force, jail privatization, prison health care and the criminal contempt trial of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.