Arizona executes Frank Atwood – second execution in the U.S. state in four weeks

On Wednesday morning, 66-year-old Frank Jarvis Atwood was executed in the U.S. state of Arizona by lethal injection. He was sentenced to death for allegedly kidnapping and murdering an eight-year-old girl in 1984.

Atwood always maintained his innocence – statement from his attorneys, “Eyewitnesses reported seeing the child alive hours after the only time Mr. Atwood could have encountered her. Yet authorities focused on Mr. Atwood and conducted an investigation that was rife with errors and lacked concrete evidence linking him to the victim’s disappearance, let alone her death.”

However, all the submissions and appeals failed to convince the judges. Atwood, the son of a Holocaust survivor, was now in a wheelchair.

While Atwood himself proposed the use of nitrogen gas as his preferred method of execution, the courts ruled that Arizona Department of Corrections protocols providing for cyanide for execution in a gas chamber were acceptable, and said Atwood did not have that choice, only that between execution by cyanide or by lethal injection.

It was the second execution in Arizona in four weeks since no executions were carried out in the U.S. state following the failed execution of Joseph Wood’s death sentence in the summer of 2014.