Journalists’ Roundtable: 3-17-23

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It’s Friday and that means it’s time for the Journalists’ Roundtable. Joining us tonight for a look at the week’s top stories: Camryn Sanchez with Arizona Capitol Times, Jeremy Duda with Axios Phoenix, and Mark Brodie with KJZZ.

Topics covered:

  • Possible constitutional showdown over execution

What is going on with the showdown?

“This is still about Aaron Gunches, who was put on death row a while ago, and asked to be executed but then took that back. Now it’s sort of back and forth about whether or not we’re going to execute him, because the Attorney General doesn’t want to, and Hobbs doesn’t seem like she wants to, but the Maricopa County Attorney’s office does. There’s a question whether or not the state has to do it at this point,” said Sanchez.

Has the state not handled these things well in the past?

“Obviously we have had a lot of problems over the years with our lethal injection system, and Kris Mayes came in and wanted to halt executions because of these issues,” said Duda. Hobbs and Mayes both think the state is not equipped to handle executions citing we don’t know where the drugs are coming from nor do we know who actually has the expertise to carry these out.

Is there a real reason why they want to wait?

“It seems like this could be a real separation of powers question here. A lot of the legal folks in town are really interested in how the court is going to come down on this if the ward of execution is a you can do it or have to do it,” said Brodie.

How is the legislature involved in this?

“Well filing amicus briefs, obviously the death penalty is a very partisan divide: public is generally supportive of it, Democrats not so much. Kris Mayes has said she is not opposed to it, but wants to go back and reexamine the process, policy, how we carry this out. There are a lot of folks getting involved,” said Duda.

Camryn Sanchez with Arizona Capitol Times, Jeremy Duda with Axios Phoenix, and Mark Brodie with KJZZ.

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