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Lawyers for prisoner say he’s mentally unfit to be executed

There were 23 executions in 2017, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Over the past 25 years, only last year's total, 20, was lower.
AP, file
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AP
Attorneys for a prisoner scheduled to become the first person to be executed in Arizona in nearly eight years is making another bid to try to stop his execution. The attorneys for Clarence Dixon argued their client’s psychological problems keep him from rationally understanding why the state wants to end his life.

Attorneys for a prisoner scheduled to become the first person to be executed in Arizona in nearly eight years is making another bid to try to stop his execution.

The attorneys for Clarence Dixon argued their client’s psychological problems keep him from rationally understanding why the state wants to end his life.

A Pinal County judge concluded defense lawyers had shown reasonable grounds for appointing mental health experts to examine Dixon and for planning a court hearing over whether he’s competent to be executed in the 1977 killing of 21-year-old Arizona State University student Deana Bowdoin.

Dixon’s execution is scheduled for May 11.