- City suspends liquor license for downtown Cape bar; owners say they want to fix problems (3/26/17)3
- Mall aboard: Future requires evolution at West Park Mall (3/24/17)23
- Legal discrimination complaint, ethics complaint filed in Scott City government (3/22/17)13
- Business notebook: Cape native goes from farm to mobile-food operation (3/20/17)1
- Former Southeast softball coach sues Board of Regents; seeks damages and her job back (3/23/17)15
- Former Scott City administrator: 'I was forced to resign' (3/21/17)6
- Triplett manslaughter case set for July 2018 (3/21/17)2
- Two people found dead in Advance house fire (3/21/17)
- Two Cape men charged with second-degree murder of Grandi (3/21/17)2
- Two local lawmakers back charter school bill; Perryville lawmaker objects to measure (3/19/17)24
Commission recommends changes in death penalties
PHOENIX -- A state commission recommended nearly two dozen changes Tuesday in Arizona's death penalty system, including banning the execution of convicted killers under age 18.
That and other recommendations in the commission's final report -- including the creation of a statewide public defender's office -- are expected to go before lawmakers this legislative session.
Some of the panel's recommendations, such as making mentally retarded defendants ineligible for the death penalty, have already been enacted.
The 30-member commission was created in 2000 by then-Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano in response to calls for a death penalty moratorium around the country. That same year, Illinois Gov. George Ryan stopped executions in his state.
The commission studied each of the state's roughly 230 death penalty cases from 1974 to July 2000. Twenty-two people have been executed since 1992, when executions resumed in Arizona after a 29-year break.
Citing the report, Commissioner John Stookey called for a halt to executions. Stookey, a Phoenix defense attorney, said 50 percent of Arizona capital cases are reversed.
He wrote that the data alone leads him "to conclude that either the death penalty is a failed experiment in Arizona or that we must at least impose a moratorium to determine whether these flaws can be remedied."
Seven other commissioners joined Stookey in expressing serious concern that the capital punishment system in Arizona is underfunded and biased. A majority of the members, however, didn't recommended halting executions.
A spokeswoman for Napolitano, now the state's governor, said the governor felt "reassured" after reviewing the report. She said Napolitano, a death penalty supporter, is not considering a moratorium on executions.