Frank Atwood executed in Arizona for 1984 homicide of 8-year-old woman

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An Arizona inmate convicted within the 1984 killing of an 8-year-old woman was executed Wednesday within the state’s second execution since officers began finishing up the loss of life penalty in Might after a virtually eight-year hiatus. Frank Atwood, 66, died by deadly injection on the state jail in Florence for his homicide conviction within the killing of Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, Arizona Lawyer Common Mark Brnovich said in a statement.

Vicki went lacking after leaving her house in Tucson to drop a birthday card in a close-by mailbox in September 1984. Her physique was discovered within the desert in April 1985.

The U.S. Supreme Court docket cleared the best way for Atwood’s execution Wednesday morning after rejecting a remaining attraction by his legal professionals. He died at 10:16 a.m., Brnovich mentioned.

On Tuesday, the state Division of Corrections allowed Atwood, who transformed to the Greek Orthodox Church in jail, to be visited by spiritual advisers, Atwood’s legal professional Joseph Perkovich told the Arizona Republic.

Atwood was accompanied via the method of being ready for the deadly injection by a priest, witnesses to the execution mentioned at a information convention after the execution. He had claimed innocence, however didn’t handle the killing together with his final phrases.

The witnesses mentioned he thanked the priest for “for coming right now and shepherding me into the religion” and added: “I pray the Lord may have mercy on all of us and that the Lord may have mercy on me.”

On Wednesday, witnesses mentioned the method of organising IVs into Atwood for the injection went easily, although medical personnel couldn’t find a vein for his proper arm and put the IV in his proper hand, at Atwood’s suggestion.

This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Frank Atwood.
This undated file picture offered by the Arizona Division of Corrections exhibits Frank Atwood.

Arizona Division of Corrections through AP


The woman’s mom, Debbie Carlson, was additionally a witness to the execution and informed reporters after Atwood died that “Vicki was a vibrant little woman with an infectious snort and a smile that may soften your coronary heart.”

Carlson added: “Her royal blue eyes mirrored an outdated soul of knowledge, and her freckled nostril was distinctive and we’re blessed to see it in our grandchildren right now. Vicki was a feisty little one which at all times stored you in your toes and can endlessly be referred to as Dennis the menace, laughing all the best way.”

Judges in current weeks rebuffed makes an attempt by Atwood’s legal professionals to have the execution delayed.

Atwood’s legal professionals argued that his degenerative spinal situation would make it excruciatingly painful for him to be strapped on his again to a gurney, the place inmates lie as they obtain deadly injections. The legal professionals additionally questioned whether or not state officers met a requirement for the deadly injection drug’s expiration date to fall after the execution date.

Prosecutors claimed that Atwood was making an attempt to indefinitely postpone his execution via authorized maneuvers, saying his ache could be alleviated by propping him with a pillow on the gurney, which has a tilting perform. Lupita Murillo, a KVOA-TV reporter who witnessed the execution, mentioned Atwood did not complain about again ache throughout the course of to arrange him for the deadly injection.

Atwood’s attorneys additionally informed the Supreme Court docket in court docket filings that the irritating issue that made his crime eligible for the loss of life penalty was invalidly utilized. He was convicted in 1975 in California for lewd and lascivious conduct with a baby beneath 14 and was convicted of Vicki’s killing in 1987. Judges have rejected that authorized argument prior to now.

Authorities have mentioned Atwood kidnapped Vicki, whose stays had been found within the desert northwest of Tucson. Consultants couldn’t decide the reason for loss of life from the stays, in keeping with court docket data.

Atwood is the second Arizona inmate to be put to loss of life in lower than a month. The execution of Clarence Dixon final month ended Arizona’s halt to executions that was blamed on the problem of acquiring deadly injection medicine and criticism {that a} 2014 execution within the state was botched.

Loss of life penalty opponents fear that Arizona will now begin executing a gentle stream of inmates who’ve languished on loss of life row, however state officers did not instantly reply to a request for touch upon their future execution plans. No different executions have been scheduled to date in Arizona, which has 111 inmates on loss of life row.

Arizona additionally has a gasoline chamber and inmates are allowed to decide on between that and deadly injection, however Atwood declined, leaving him to die by deadly injection, the state’s default execution technique.

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