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Attorneys For Death Row Prisoners Push Back On AG's Request To Set Execution Dates

Attorneys for two Arizona death row prisoners are pushing back on a recent request from the state’s attorney general to schedule dates for their executions. 

Earlier this month Attorney General Brnovich asked the Arizona Supreme Court to set a timetable for the execution of death row prisoners Frank Atwood and Clarence Dixon.

In a filing this week, attorneys for Atwood asked the state Supreme Court to deny the AG’s request, saying their client has an active appeal. 

“The court should put the brakes on this to prevent a miscarriage of justice," said Attorney Joseph Perkovich. "At this point there are many unanswered questions in Mr. Atwood’s case that remain unanswered because of the pandemic.”

Assistant Federal Public Defender Dale Baich, an attorney for Dixon, said the lack of visitations in Arizona prisons has prevented them from performing work for their client as well. "We would like to be able to sit down and review documents with our clients and review evidence," Baich said.

Now that the prisons have begun vaccinations, Baich is asking the Supreme Court to postpone ruling on the AG’s request for an execution timetable until the fall. "We could have experts go in an conduct necessary evaluations and testing. None of that has happened over the past year, and even when the prisons reopen, it's going to take us some time to catch up."

Jimmy Jenkins was a producer and senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2014 to 2021.