Killer Frank Atwood had defended his innocence and his lawyers have pleaded multiple times to have the execution halted – but 40 years after the murder he was executed in Florence, Arizona
A disabled death row inmate who killed an 8-year-old girl was put to death by lethal injection.
The Arizona prisoner, found guilty of the girl’s murder in 1984, was executed by the US in the state’s second execution in nearly eight years.
The 66-year-old, who was in a wheelchair, died at 10:16 a.m. local time (6:16 p.m. BST) at the state penitentiary in Florence, 61 miles southeast of Phoenix, by lethal injection for murdering Vicki Hoskinson.
Hoskinson’s body was found in the desert in 1985 after leaving her home in Tucson, Arizona’s second largest city, on a bicycle to drop a birthday card for her aunt in a nearby mailbox.
Friends and neighbors of the Hoskinson family showed their support outside of prison to commemorate Vicki Lynne.
“I feel like it’s going to be part of a childhood closure,” Stacy Davis, a childhood friend of Vicki Lynne, told AZ Central.
Atwood is the second Arizona inmate to be executed in less than a month after last month’s execution of Clarence Dixon ended the southwestern state’s eight-year hiatus after a failed trial in 2014.
Atwood had defended his innocence and his attorneys made several failed motions to have the execution stopped, and US District Judge Michael Liburdi ruled to go ahead with the execution.
This was despite the fact that the convict said the state’s death penalty process violated his constitutional right to cruel and unusual punishment by inflicting unimaginable pain on him.
His lawyers said Atwood, who suffers from a degenerative spinal condition that leaves him confined to a wheelchair, would suffer excruciating suffering if he were strapped to a gurney while lying on his back during his lethal injection execution.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said Attwood could use a pillow and a tilt feature on the stretcher to “minimize the plaintiff’s pain when lying on his back.”
The Constitution states that he “does not require a painless execution” and that Atwood’s position is similar to what he normally accepts in his cell to limit pain.
He also asked the Arizona Supreme Court to stay his execution, while his attorneys claimed he was innocent of killing the little girl.
Demonstrators and counter-demonstrators lined up in front of the prison in Florence on Wednesday a barricade erected by police along the intersection of Butte and Pinal Parkway Avenues, AZ Central reported.
Two weeks ago, Atwood, unable to choose between lethal injection or the gas chamber, had him executed by lethal injection, the state’s standard method of execution.
“The state’s insistence on cyanide gas is a cynical decision to force acceptance of the danger and incompetence of its deadly injection method at the cost of adopting Nazi methods of mass destruction,” Joseph Perkovich, an attorney for Atwood, said in an email Sunday .
Debbie Carlson, Vicki’s mother, said at Atwood’s clemency hearing in May his execution would bring final justice to her daughter and mark a new beginning for her family.
“We chose the death penalty because we never wanted another child to face this monster,” she said. “We wanted to make sure another family was spared and didn’t have to live what we’ve lived for the last 37 1/2 years.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/breaking-disabled-death-row-inmate-27180578 A disabled death row inmate who killed an eight-year-old girl is executed by lethal injection