Media Contact

January 20, 2023

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Arizona has effectively paused executions, pending a review of the state’s execution protocols and outstanding questions about the source and efficacy of its execution drugs.

Taking care to exercise cautiously Arizona’s authority to execute, Gov. Katie Hobbs announced the appointment of a Death Penalty Review Commissioner today, to review how the state carries out executions — including how it procures lethal injection and gas chamber chemicals. In a statement, Hobbs said the review was necessary because of the state’s “history of mismanaged executions.” The death penalty could be re-instated based on the commissioner’s final report. There are 110 people on Arizona’s death row.

The following statement can be attributed as noted:
Joshua Spears, policy council, ACLU of Arizona:

"The death penalty in Arizona disproportionately harms people of color, the poor, and people with mental illness, and there is no compelling evidence that it deters other violent crime. Nor does Arizona provide the robust judicial processes necessary to ensure that innocent people are not entangled in this system. Arizona has long needed a thorough review of its death penalty protocols. While we applaud Governor Hobbs’ decision to conduct such a review, one thing is clear: the death penalty is racist, unjust and cruel. It must be abolished in Arizona.”