Arizona executes Clarence Dixon – first execution since 2014
On Wednesday morning in the U.S. state of Arizona, 66-year-old Clarence Dixon was executed with a lethal injection, an overdose of pentobarbital.
Dixon, the courts were convinced, had raped and murdered a 21-year-old young woman in 1978. The crime was not solved until 2008 using DNA evidence. Dixon had already been serving a life sentence for another rape crime since 1986.
His lawyers argued in vain that their client had suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and hallucinations for decades. in 1977, he had been acquitted by reason of insanity in a rape case. In addition, Dixon is now blind and mentally he does not understand why he is being executed.
The 66-year-old was a member of the Navajo Tribe of Native Americans. The Navajo Nation opposes the death penalty.
It was the first execution in Arizona in nearly eight years. In July 2014, the execution of Jeff Wood made headlines because Arizona used untested substances for the lethal injection that caused it to take nearly two hours for Wood to die – about 600 breaths and 15 re-sprays.
Dixon’s execution went according to plan, according to eyewitness reports, though it took the IV team 25 minutes to start Dixon on an intravenous line.