Frank Atwood, convicted of murdering an 8-year Tuscon, Arizona toddler in 1984, is now scheduled to be executed on June 8 in Florence, Arizona. A federal appeals court denied a request by lawyers to make new arguments.
This will be the second execution by Arizona in the last 8 years after the recent May 11 execution of Clarence Dixon by lethal injection. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-minute delay of Dixon’s execution less than an hour before his execution began.
The Arizona death penalty had been held up for 8 years after the execution of Joseph Wood. Critics say his execution had been botched. State authorities encountered complications finding lethal injection drugs. The successful execution of Dixon on May 11 has now started a new round of death penalty executions in Arizona.
Atwood's Upcoming Execution
On May 10, the Arizona Supreme Court issued an execution warrant for Frank Atwood. He was convicted of the 1984 death of 8-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson.
She was an 8-year-old girl in 1984 who disappeared riding her bicycle to mail a birthday card to her aunt.
The May 27 federal appeals court denial allows the execution to go forward.
According to authorities, Atwood kidnapped the 8-year-old girl. Her remains were discovered in the desert northwest of Tucson nearly seven months after her disappearance.
Atwood’s legal team had three new arguments against the death penalty. They also argued that authorities failed to turn over evidence that might have helped Atwood’s defense; and that the recently discovered evidence supported the theory that the girl was killed by a woman.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday, May 27 denied the request by Atwood to make new arguments. The appeals court agreed with lawyers for the state. The defense arguments did not meet the criteria to present new evidence in federal court.
The court has a separate website that allows the public to see the documents filed on behalf of and against Frank Atwood. The federal court provided an 11-page document on May 27 explaining its denial of Atwood's request.
It's likely that Atwood will appeal to the US Supreme Court before the date of his execution.
On Tuesday, May 24, Atwood appealed to the Arizona state clemency board to spare his life but was denied.
According to 12News.com, the family of Vicki Lynn Hoskinson said they're ready to put this 40-year nightmare behind them.
Frank Atwood and his wife Rachael have written a book, And the Two Shall Become One, about his death sentence and marriage.