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Why Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes is pausing the death penalty

New Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes is pausing executions in Arizona — putting the use of the death penalty on hold until a review of the process is completed.

Last week, Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order to establish a Death Penalty Independent Review Commissioner to do just that. 

Mayes filed to withdraw the only pending death warrant in the state, that of Aaron Brian Gunches. He had filed a request to be executed but he withdrew it early this month. 

It’s a move that’s been met with praise from many defense attorneys and civil rights advocates — and it has been denounced by victims’ families. 

But Arizona is not the only state examining its practices when it comes to the death penalty. And Gov. Hobbs wants attention turned to identifying problems and finding solutions. 

Attorney General Mayes joined The Show to talk about the decision.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.