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Condemned prisoners use separation of powers argument in appeal (access required)

Three prisoners took their case to the Arizona Court of Appeals Friday, arguing that the statute governing lethal injection violates the separation of powers doctrine because the Legislature delegated its authority over executions to the executive branch. They also argue that they aren’t left with any legal recourse if the Department of Corrections changes its execution procedures.

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Death-row inmates sue state over execution procedures (access required)

Attorneys for a group of death-row inmates who went to trial this week in a federal lawsuit say the department didn’t interview or check the background and licensing of the doctor or a medical assistant, neither of whom were qualified under the department’s protocol or procedures for execution.

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Cost-benefit study of prisons late, but state going ahead with 5,000 more private beds  (access required)

The Department of Corrections has long been out of compliance with a law requiring the director to complete a cost-benefit analysis comparing private and state-run prisons every two years. 

DOC Director Charles Ryan, who took over the job in January 2009, said he started working on his analysis a few months ago. 

But House Minority Leader Chad Campbell insists that’s not good enough. 

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