Arizona has the nation’s highest rate of executions.
And for good reason.
As of the end of August, Arizona had nearly 4,200 people on death row.
While there are a number of reasons for the state’s high number of executions, the execution rate in 2017 was the highest in the nation.
And with a recent decision to reinstitute capital punishment in the state, the legal community is calling for a constitutional amendment to put the death sentence back on the ballot.
As we’ve noted before, Arizona is the most recent state to do so, following Georgia and Utah, and the most conservative state in the union.
In a petition filed last month, the Legal Action Center of Arizona (LACA) said the death-penalty debate should be put back on our radar screens.
The group says the public needs to know how many executions were carried out in the last year, the number of death row inmates, and whether the state has adequate resources to execute people who pose a threat to society.
The petition says the number is likely well above the official tally.
That number, the petition says, could be much higher than the official figure.
In Arizona, more than 80% of the death sentences are in the death row, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
The majority of death-row inmates are African-American men.
According to the Arizona Department of Corrections, black inmates comprise 23% of inmates in Arizona prisons.
The state’s Hispanic population, which includes many Latino prisoners, is also disproportionately incarcerated.
The LACA’s petition asks the court to reestablish the death Penalty as the death punishment of last resort.
In the petition, the group says Arizona should be “reassessing the viability of capital punishment as a deterrent” in light of recent advancements in technology.
And it says that when the state reinstates capital punishment, it should do so without relying on the death of a person who poses a threat.
The legal group’s petition states: It is a well-known fact that the deathpenalty system is extremely costly, ineffective, and has been proven to result in more than one-third of inmates being exonerated, with exonerations exceeding 50%.
This is a proven fact.
But Arizona’s capital punishment system is still the most expensive in the country.
And, according the LACS, the average cost per execution is more than $100,000.
According a study conducted by the Center for Justice and Democracy at Columbia University, Arizona spent $2.5 million on executions in 2017 alone.
In 2017, Arizona was one of only three states to spend more than half of its annual capital punishment budget on the process of capitalizing on the victims of capital crimes.
According the LCAA, the cost of executions in Arizona has ballooned to nearly $2 billion.
In 2016, the state spent $1.3 billion on executions.
While Arizona’s prison population has fallen from its peak of nearly 1,800 people in 2006 to about 7,500 people at the end in 2016, it still has more than 1,400 inmates in its prisons.
A recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that Arizona’s death-rate, at more than 100 people per 100,000, is higher than that of all other states in the United States.
In 2018, the median price of a lethal injection drug was $5,800, according data compiled by the Texas Commission on Death Penalty Statistics.
That’s roughly $15,000 per death-cap case.
The cost of lethal injection drugs has increased from $9,400 in 2016 to more than double that in 2017, according a report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.
Arizona’s public defender, who works on capital cases, says the increased costs are a concern.
“If we’re not spending the resources we need to prosecute cases, then the death rate of people we’re prosecuting is going to go up,” said Lisa Pappas.
Pappa is the executive director of the Arizona Defender Association.
She said she thinks Arizona’s recent executions are a symptom of the state facing a financial crisis.
“The costs of this are the costs of a criminal justice system that’s not serving our communities,” Pappes said.
The death penalty is a popular way to execute prisoners, with the death chamber being used in less than 1% of cases nationwide, according an analysis by the Death Penalty Information Center.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has said he would like to see capital punishment reinstated in Arizona.
“We don’t have a lot of money for capital defense,” Brnich said.
“So it would be good to reinvigorate the death law and have a death penalty.”
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the case could have a huge impact on Arizona.
In January, the justices will consider whether to uphold the death penalties of two death-eligible