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Report: Hepatitis C Killing Arizona Death Row Inmates

Nick Oza/The Arizona Republic

Five Arizona death-row inmates have died of "natural causes" since a federal judge put executions on hold four years ago.

The Arizona Republic reports attorneys and relatives of the dead prisoners say the deaths all were related to Hepatitis C infections.

The medical director at the Arizona State Prison Complex recently testified that up to 80 percent of inmates in that complex were infected with the disease.

But Arizona Department of Corrections statistics say differently.

Department of Corrections reports say 6,243 of the 41,681 prisoners in the entire Arizona Department of Corrections population have hepatitis C, which comes to 15 percent.

The most recent Arizona Death Row inmate to die was Brian Dann on March 1. Dann sued the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections last year to be treated with antiviral drugs.

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