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Author Archives: Gary Grado

Former chairman of Board of Clemency denies most allegations of misconduct (access required)

Arizona Board of Executive Clemency members (from right) Ellen Kirschbaum, Executive Director Jesse Hernandez, Jack LaSota, Brian Livingston and Melvin Thomas. (Photo by Josh Coddington/Arizona Capitol Times)

A worker’s discrimination complaint has led to detailed allegations of an intolerable working environment at the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency under Chairman Jesse Hernandez.

Among other things, Hernandez ogled women in the office, called a staff member a heathen for not attending church, urged workers to gossip about one another and promoted a girlfriend who wasn’t qualified for the job, the state Department of Administration reported Wednesday.

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Process takes ‘too long’ (access required)

Attorney General Tom Horne (Photo by Evan Wyloge/Arizona Capitol Times)

Horne considers legal action in attempt to speed up death penalty cases

The 11 convicted killers Arizona has executed since 2010 spent an average of 22 years on death row. Attorney General Tom Horne thinks that is too long. He also thinks suing the federal government will speed up the process, but others say that a successful lawsuit would bring few or no gains because Arizona lacks criminal defense attorneys who are qualified to do proceedings known as capital post-conviction relief and are willing to do it for $100 an hour, the rate set in statute. That has historically left the Arizona Supreme Court scrambling to find enough attorneys to handle the constant stream of death cases.

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