Katie Hobbs Defies Arizona Supreme Court Decision

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Democratic Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs said Friday that she will not execute death row prisoner Aaron Gunches, regardless of a warrant from the state’s Supreme Court.

On Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court scheduled Gunches’ execution for April 6, saying it must grant the execution warrant because the appeals process was complete, The Associated Press reported.

But Hobbs said there is wiggle room in the court ruling, according to the Arizona Republic.

“The Court’s decision order and warrant make clear … that the warrant authorizes an execution and does not require it,” Hobbs said in a statement.

“This is consistent with the law and separation of powers between the judicial and executive branches on this most serious exercise of the power of the State,” the statement said.

Gunches was convicted in the 2002 murder of Ted Price, an ex-boyfriend of the woman Gunches was dating at the time. He kidnapped and shot Price multiple times.

In November, Gunches asked the Supreme Court to issue his own death warrant, calling for justice and “closure to the victim’s family.” Former Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked for the warrant of execution, according to KTAR-FM.

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