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Judge won't halt Arizona execution — at least for now

Clarence Dixon
Arizona Department of Corrections
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Clarence Dixon

A federal judge has refused to halt an Arizona execution planned this week after the state provided defense attorneys with documents outlining testing done on the drug it will use.

Lawyers for convicted killer Clarence Dixon said at a Saturday hearing that the state’s own testing showed the sedative planned for Wednesday’s scheduled lethal injection has exceeded its expiration date. They're expected to ask Judge Diane Humetewa to block Dixon's execution on those grounds.

Attorneys for the state contend the medication will not expire until August.

Dixon's lawyers also want the state Supreme Court to rule he is mentally incompetent and can't be legally executed.

An additional flurry of last-minute court action could still lead to a delay despite the ruling.