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Execution of child murderer goes forward after lost appeals

Frank Atwood
Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation and Reentry via AP
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Frank Atwood

An Arizona man convicted in the 1984 killing of an 8-year-old girl was put to death Wednesday. It was the state’s second execution this year since officials started carrying out the death penalty again after a nearly eight-year hiatus.

Frank Atwood died Wednesday by lethal injection for murdering Vicki Lynne Hoskinson. Her body was found in the desert after she left her Tucson home to drop a birthday card in a mailbox.

Earlier this month a judge denied Atwood's bid to delay his execution. Atwood had argued the state's death penalty procedures would violate his constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment by subjecting him to unimaginable pain.

His lawyers said their client, who had a degenerative spinal condition that left him in a wheelchair, would undergo excruciating suffering if he were strapped to a gurney while lying on his back during his lethal injection execution.

The execution of Clarence Dixon last month marked the return of executions in Arizona.

The state came under scrutiny in 2014 for a botched execution took hours to complete. State officials also cited difficulty obtaining lethal injection drugs as the reason for pause.