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Report: Arizona Paid $1.5 Million For Death Penalty Drugs

Reporting from the Guardian has revealed the cost of Arizona’s renewed pursuit of the death penalty. 

The British newspaper reported Friday that Arizona spent $1.5 million on 1,000 grams of pentobarbital in October 2020. Arizona plans to use the sedative to move forward with a new wave of executions, following the lead of the federal government, which resumed lethal injections using the single-drug method last year.

Arizona stopped carrying out executions in 2014 after it took the state nearly two hours to kill Joseph Wood with a multi-drug injection.

The Arizona attorney general said the state is preparing to seek death warrants for two men:  Frank Atwood and Clarence Dixon.

Twenty people on Arizona’s death row have exhausted all their appeals.

In response to the report, Dale Baich, assistant federal defender and attorney for Clarence Dixon, said "No executions should move forward until there is full transparency about the process itself.”

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.