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Arizona on schedule, for now, for first execution since 2014

Arizona remains on track, at least for now, to use the death penalty for the first time in nearly eight years.

The prisoner to be executed is given the option of being put to death by the gas chamber or lethal injection.

Clarence Dixon’s warrant for execution sets a Thursday deadline for deciding whether he will be put to death with an injection of pentobarbital or with hydrogen cyanide gas.

He was convicted of murder in the 1977 killing of an ASU student.

His execution date is set for May 11.

Lethal injection is the default method if Dixon doesn’t make a choice.

The most recent gas chamber execution in the United States occurred in Arizona in 1999.

The most recent state execution in 2014 involved lethal injection and drew national attention, when Joseph Wood was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over the course of two hours. His lawyers said the execution was botched.

A judge has yet to decide if a hearing will be held on May 3 to determine whether Dixon is mentally fit to be executed.