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Capital Case Commission Final Report

Office of the Attorney General
State of Arizona

Capital Case Commission
Final Report 

Janet Napolitano
Attorney General

Capital Case Commission - Final Report December 31,2002

Summary of Recommendations iii
I. Introduction to the Attorney General's Capital Case Commission 1

The Commission Membership

    1
    II. Capital Punishment in Arizona 3

    History

      3

      The Capital Case

        5

        Trial Process

          5

          1. Guilt Phase

            5

            2. Sentencing Phase

              6

              Appeals Process

                6

                1. Direct Appeal

                  6

                  2. Post-Conviction Relief

                    7

                    3. Federal Habeas Corpus

                      7

                      Execution

                        7

                        1. Competency to be Executed

                          8

                          2. Clemency

                            8
                            III. Attorney General's Capital Case Commission 9

                            The Subcommittees

                              9

                              1. Data research Subcommittee

                                9

                                2. Pretrial Issues Subcommittee

                                  11

                                  3. Trial Issues Subcommittee

                                    12

                                    4. Direct Appeal/PCR Subcommittee

                                      12

                                      The Interim Report

                                        13
                                        IV. Commission Deliberations and Recommendations 14

                                        1. Capital Litigation Resources Legislation

                                          14

                                          2. Audio or Video Recording of Interviews

                                            15

                                            3. Minimum Age for Capital Punishment

                                              15

                                              4. Mental Retardation

                                                16

                                                5. Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Under Ariz. R. Crim. P. 15.1(g)(1)

                                                  16

                                                  6. Selection of Capital Cases

                                                    17

                                                    7. Competence of Counsel

                                                      17

                                                      8. Legal and Judicial Education

                                                        18

                                                        9. Mitigation Specialists

                                                          18

                                                          10. Proposed Reforms to Rules 31 and 32 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure

                                                            19

                                                            11. Jury Deliberation in Capital Cases

                                                              20

                                                              12. When a Peace Officer is Murdered

                                                                21

                                                                13. Victim Impact at Aggravation/Mitigation Hearings

                                                                  21

                                                                  14. Residual Debt in Sentencing

                                                                    21

                                                                    15. Clerks of Court and Court Reporters' Procedures

                                                                      22

                                                                      16. File Repository

                                                                        23

                                                                        17. Competency to be Executed

                                                                          23

                                                                          18. Maintaining Capital Case Data

                                                                            24

                                                                            19. Preserviation of DNA Evidence

                                                                              24

                                                                              20. Use of F6 Aggravator

                                                                                25

                                                                                21. Review of Capital Cases in Which Convictions Were Reversed or Sentences Remanded or Modified by the Appellate Court

                                                                                  25

                                                                                  22. Race-neutral Decisions

                                                                                    26

                                                                                    23. Requests for a Moratorium on the Death Penalty in Arizona

                                                                                      27
                                                                                      V. Comments by Commission Members 28
                                                                                      VI. Conclusion 32

                                                                                      Appendix A

                                                                                        33

                                                                                        Appendix B

                                                                                          38

                                                                                          Attachment A: Capital Case Commission - Interim Report July 30, 2001

                                                                                          I. Introduction to the Attorney General's Capital Case Commission 1

                                                                                          The Commission Membership

                                                                                            1

                                                                                            The Objective

                                                                                              2

                                                                                              The Structure and Research

                                                                                                2

                                                                                                The Subcommittees

                                                                                                  2

                                                                                                  The Interim Report

                                                                                                    4
                                                                                                    II. Capital Punishment in Arizona 5

                                                                                                    History

                                                                                                      5

                                                                                                      The Capital Case

                                                                                                        7

                                                                                                        Trial Process

                                                                                                          7

                                                                                                          1. Guilt Phase

                                                                                                            7

                                                                                                            2. Sentencing Phase

                                                                                                              8

                                                                                                              3. Trial Court's Decision to Impose the Death Penalty

                                                                                                                8

                                                                                                                Appeals Process

                                                                                                                  10

                                                                                                                  1. Direct Appeal

                                                                                                                    10

                                                                                                                    2. Post-Conviction Relief

                                                                                                                      11

                                                                                                                      3. Federal Habeas Corpus

                                                                                                                        11

                                                                                                                        Execution

                                                                                                                          13

                                                                                                                          1. Competency to be Executed

                                                                                                                            13

                                                                                                                            2. Clemency

                                                                                                                              13
                                                                                                                              III. The Data/Research Subcommittee 15

                                                                                                                              Purpose

                                                                                                                                15
                                                                                                                                IV. Commission Deliberations and Recommendations 16

                                                                                                                                Capital Litigation Resources Legislation

                                                                                                                                  16

                                                                                                                                  Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Under Ariz. R. Crim. P. 15.1(g)

                                                                                                                                    17

                                                                                                                                    Jury Deliberations

                                                                                                                                      17

                                                                                                                                      Mental Retardation

                                                                                                                                        17

                                                                                                                                        Aggravating Factors in Arizona Law and Defining Eligibility for Capital Punishment

                                                                                                                                          18

                                                                                                                                          Selection of Capital Cases by Prosecutors and Defense Input

                                                                                                                                            19

                                                                                                                                            Residual Doubt as a Factor in Sentencing

                                                                                                                                              19

                                                                                                                                              Competency to be Executed

                                                                                                                                                19

                                                                                                                                                Minimum Age for Capital Punishment

                                                                                                                                                  20

                                                                                                                                                  Competence of Counsel

                                                                                                                                                    20

                                                                                                                                                    Aggravation/Mitigation and Sentencing Hearings and Victim Impact Evidence in Capital Cases

                                                                                                                                                      21

                                                                                                                                                      The Use of Mitigation Specialists and Standards for Mitigation Specialists

                                                                                                                                                        22

                                                                                                                                                        Ariz. R. Crim. P. 15.9 Appointment of Investigators and Expert Witnesses for Indigent Defendants

                                                                                                                                                          23

                                                                                                                                                          Audio or Video Recording of Interrogations

                                                                                                                                                            23

                                                                                                                                                            Review of Capital Cases in Which Convictions Were Reversed, or Sentences Remanded or Modified by the Appellate Court

                                                                                                                                                              23

                                                                                                                                                              Prolonged Time Intervals in Direct Appeal Proceedings

                                                                                                                                                                24

                                                                                                                                                                Prolonged Time Intervals in Post-Conviction Relief Proceedings

                                                                                                                                                                  25

                                                                                                                                                                  Proposed Reforms in Ariz. R. Crim. P. 31 and 32

                                                                                                                                                                    25

                                                                                                                                                                    Commission Comments

                                                                                                                                                                      26
                                                                                                                                                                      V. Closing Remarks and Future Considerations 30
                                                                                                                                                                      VI. Appendices 31

                                                                                                                                                                      Attachment B: Summary of Death Sentence Process: Data Set I Research Report to Arizona Capital Case Commission March 2001

                                                                                                                                                                      Attachment C: Summary of First-degree Murder Cases in Four Arizona Counties, 1995-1999: Data Set II research Report to Arizona Capital Case Commission June 2002

                                                                                                                                                                      Attachment D: Case Study on State Country Costs Associated with Capital Adjudication in Arizona: Data Set III Research Report to Arizona Capital Case Commission July 2001

                                                                                                                                                                      Attachment E: Senate Bill 1001