The future of death penalties in Arizona

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Attorney General Merrick Garland has instituted a federal moratorium on the death penalty. However, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has stated that he wants to resume executions in Arizona. Brnovich would like to see the twenty-one people on death row that have exhausted their appeals to be executed before he leaves office. Jon Gould, the Director of ASU School of Criminology & Criminal Justice joins us to discuss the capital punishment cases. 

“I think this is a recognition that there are serious issues involving the way that capital processions have brought the United States, who’s targeted for them, the kinds of resources that defendants get in these cases, whether the death penalty is really the best option for going forward,” Gould said. 

Gould explained that the current attorney general has put a moratorium on all capital punishment prosecutions. The AG plans to have an investigation into the processes the U.S department of justice uses to bring these cases. Gould believes that it could be more than a year before they come to a resolution. 

We asked what kinds of issues will be looked at in the moratorium.

Gould believes that they will be looking into the internal processes of the Department of Justice. Currently, the process involves a committee within the Department of Justice that will review the cases and hear from the defense before they will make a decision as to whether the U.S Department of Justice will go forward with the case. 

“There were seven cases in which the Trump justice department decided that they were going to seek the death penalty, and the current justice department has quietly taken away those authorizations,” Gould said. “They are not going to seek the death penalty in those seven cases.”

Gould believes this is a sign for the future of the U.S Department of Justice.

Jon Gould, the foundation professor and director of the school of criminology and criminal justice in the watts college of public service and community solutions.

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