Clarence Dixon becomes first Arizona death row inmate to be executed in eight years as his last meal is revealed

AN Arizona death row inmate has been put to death, becoming the first state execution in eight years after killing a 21-year-old college student.

Clarence Dixon, 66, was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday at Florence State Prison after a last attempt to block his execution was denied by the Supreme Court.

Before his execution, Dixon requested Kentucky Fried Chicken, a half-pint of strawberry ice cream and a bottle of water as his last meal.

Dixon was convicted in 2008 for the 1978 murder of Arizona State University student Deana Bowdoin, 21.

Authorities said Bowdoin, who was found dead in her apartment in Tempe, had been raped, stabbed and strangled with a belt.

The slaying went unsolved until 2001, when DNA profiling linked Dixon to the crime.

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Dixon, who was an ASU student at the time and lived across the street from Bowdoin, was charged with raping Bowdoin, but the charge was later dropped on statute-of-limitation grounds.

However, he was convicted of her death in 2008 and sentenced to death.

At the time of his murder conviction, Dixon was serving a life sentence for a 1986 sexual assault.

Dixon is the sixth inmate to be put to death in the United States this year.

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In recent weeks, Dixon’s lawyers made arguments to the courts to postpone his execution. Still, judges rejected the claims that he was mentally unfit to be executed and had no rational understanding of why the state wanted to put him to death.

Dixon declined the option of being executed by the gas chamber – a method that hasn’t been used in the United States in more than two decades – after Arizona refurbished its gas chamber in late 2020.


His execution is Arizona's first in nearly eight years after the botched execution of Joseph Wood in 2014.

Wood was given 15 doses of a two-drug combination over two hours. He gasped more than 600 times before he died.

Another Arizona death-row prisoner, Frank Atwood, is scheduled to be executed on June 8 in the 1984 killing of eight-year-old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson.

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Authorities say Atwood kidnapped the girl, whose body was found in the desert northwest of Tucson.

Arizona has 113 prisoners on death row.

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