By Nora Dahl
PHOENIX, AZ – Lawyers for Clarence Dixon, whose execution is set early next month, submitted a petition requesting the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency and Governor Doug Ducey reduce Dixon’s death sentence before his May 11 execution date.
The 65 year-old defendant suffers from severe schizophrenia, chronic wasting syndrome and currently weighs a mere 100 pounds. Dixon also has, according to his lawyers, heart problems, blindness, and had a terrible upbringing defined by verbally and physically abusive parents.
Lawyers said the man has been living with untreated schizophrenia since 21, when he first turned to alcoholism and drug addiction to cope with his traumatizing past.
Two days after Dixon was sentenced to death, he was finally declared legally insane upon inspection at Arizona State Hospital.
When Dixon was charged, he represented himself, said Dixon’s current lawyers, criticizing the trial judge should not have allowed that—as a result, the jury was denied information that may have made a difference in the trial and sentencing, as the lawyers’ pleading states.
The attorney’s petition explains that Dixon’s physical ailments will make his death by lethal injection inhumanely painful.
One of his attorneys [name not disclosed] spoke on record stating, “His [Dixon’s] lungs, liver, and heart are damaged enough that it might take longer to circulate the medication to reach full toxicity dose leaving him feeling some of the effects of Pentobarbital but not all of them.”