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Arizona Department Of Corrections Says It Has Lethal Injection Drugs, Ready To Resume Executions

The Arizona Department of Corrections says it is ready to resume executions for the first time in nearly seven years. 

Arizona suspended capital punishment in 2014 after the controversial execution of Joseph Wood, which required 15 injections and lasted nearly two hours.

On Friday, Arizona Department of Corrections Director David Shinn sent a letter to the state Attorney General’s Office saying it “stands ready to commence the execution process.”

A spokesperson for the Department said it was in possession of pentobarbital, a drug that has been administered in lethal injections at the state and federal level in recent years.

The Attorney General's Office has been pushing Gov. Doug Ducey for more than a year to resume executions. A spokesman for Ducey said Friday he supports a resumption of the death penalty. The AG's office says there are 20 people on death row in Arizona who have exhausted the appeals process.

The Department of Corrections would not disclose the source of the pentobarbital or any compounding pharmacy that may have produced it.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General said there are 20 death-row inmates who have exhausted appeals in Arizona.

Death-Row Inmates Who Have Exhausted Appeals

Michael Apelt
Frank Atwood
Clarence Dixon
Richard Djerf
Richard Greenway
David Gulbrandson
Aaron Gunches
Charles Hedlund
Richard Hurles
James McKinney
Eric Mann
Ernesto Martinez
Roger Murray
Pete Rogovich
Sean Runningeagle
Eldon Schurz
Roger Scott
Joe Clarence Smith
James Styers
Ronald Williams

KJZZ's The Show spoke with assistant federal public defender Dale Baich for his reaction on the reinstatement of executions.

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.