PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is being criticized by a victim’s sister and a powerful county prosecutor for her plans to defy a court order to execute a prisoner next month for his conviction in a 2002 killing. The newly elected Democratic governor vowed nearly two weeks ago that she wouldn’t carry out the Arizona Supreme Court’s order to execute Aaron Gunches on April 6, citing a review that she has ordered of death penalty protocols due to Arizona's history of mismanaging executions.
Hobbs has said executions will not be carried out until Arizonans can be confident the state isn’t violating the law. She maintains that while the court authorized Gunches’ execution, its order doesn’t require the state to carry it out.