Journalists’ Roundtable: 3-24-23

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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: Nick Phillips with Arizona Capitol Times, Laurie Roberts with the Arizona Republic and AZ Central and Mary Jo Pitzl with Arizona Republic.

Topics discussed:

  • State Supreme Court handing Governor Hobbs a win in her efforts to delay scheduled execution of death-row inmate

Did Supreme Court say Hobbs is not mandated to go through executions?

“That’s exactly what they said. In fact, that affirms what the governor had said a few weeks back when she said, ‘I have the authorization, but I am in no way compelled to go through with this execution process.'” I think what this ruling this week does is makes clear there’s another break point in Arizona execution process, and that’s in the governor’s office,” said Phillips.

Can the family of the victim issue a warrant without doing anything?

“They issued the warrant, and then the governor decides to execute him. In fact, I think this says something about the extent of executive power in Arizona. I think we are going to see a lot more of that with the Hobb’s administration with the current legislature,” said Pitzl.

Were questions about the governor’s authority over this situation addressed?

“It was more her objection of the method of execution, not to whether the execution is warranted or not. There have been problems with how executions have been carried in recent years, and that has raised some doubts in Governor Hobb’s mind,” said Pitzl.

Have there been problems with executions in the state?

“They have a hard time killing people here. The last one was a couple years ago it took far longer than it should’ve. They had a hard time getting needles into the vein. It’s an awesome responsibility when you’re putting someone to death, and you need to be right or don’t do it all,” said Roberts.

Nick Phillips with Arizona Capitol Times, Laurie Roberts with the Arizona Republic and AZ Central and Mary Jo Pitzl with Arizona Republic.

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