Clarence Dixon, a 66-year-old Native American man, is scheduled to be put to death in Arizona on May 11, 2022 for a murder committed in January 1978. He has a long history of serious mental disability, including paranoid schizophrenia, predating the 1978 crime, and impacting his 2007/8 trial. A recent psychiatric evaluation concludes that he does not have a rational understanding of the reason for or reality of his punishment, which would render his execution unconstitutional and in violation of international law. Amnesty International is urging the Governor to stop this execution and to commute Clarence Dixon’s death sentence.
Governor Doug Ducey
- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on May 11, 2022.
- Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to the government official listed below. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
- Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 34.22. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ, 85007 USA
Fax: +1 (602) 542-7601
The State of Arizona is planning to execute Clarence Dixon
on May 11, 2022, for a murder committed in 1978.
Clarence Dixon, a member of the Navajo Nation, has a long history of mental disability, including multiple diagnoses of paranoid schizophrenia. His mental disabilities predate the 1978 crime – indeed, at that time the state was under a court order to commence civil commitment proceedings for his in-patient treatment. Clarence Dixon’s 2007 trial and 2008 sentencing were impacted by his mental disability when his delusional belief system – which persists to this day – led him to fire his court-appointed attorneys and represent himself. He presented a single mitigation witness at the sentencing phase of the trial, which meant that the jury never heard any expert or other mitigation evidence about his mental disability before it voted to sentence him to death.
International law, binding on the USA, prohibits the execution of anyone who faces “special barriers in defending themselves on an equal basis with others, such as persons whose serious psychosocial… disabilities impede their effective defence”. In a recent evaluation, a psychiatrist again diagnosed Clarence Dixon with paranoid schizophrenia. In his opinion, his mental disability “significantly affects his ability to develop a rational understanding of the State’s reasons for his execution”, and his disconnection from reality is further aggravated by “visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations”.
US law prohibits the execution of anyone who does not have a rational understanding of their punishment. And, again, international law prohibits the execution of anyone who has “a diminished ability to understand the reasons for their sentence”.
I urge you to stop the execution of Clarence Dixon and to commute his death sentence.