Death Row

Tom Horne: "There Is No Rational Reason" For Taking So Long to Execute Robert Moorman

Attorney General Tom Horne acknowledges "[j]ustice was carried out" today against Brian Moorman, who was executed this morning for chopping up his adoptive mother.

He's also wondering why exactly it took until 2012 to execute a guy who hacked up mom in 1984.

As we've previously noted, Arizona spent an estimated $586,000 in 2010 housing the 24 convicted murderers who've been waiting to be juiced for more than two decades.

After Moorman's execution today, there are still more than 20 inmates with more than 20 years on death row -- at a rate of $66.90 per day to house, feed, and care for a single inmate in the Browning Unit of the Eyman Prison, where death-row inmates are housed, as of the Department of Corrections' most recent report.

"There has never been any doubt as to Moorman's guilt for this heinous crime," Horne says in a statement from his office. "While Moorman was offered a 72 hour compassionate leave to visit his adoptive mother, he bound, gagged, strangled and stabbed her to death. He then dismembered her body and attempted to dispose of the parts by passing them off as animal remains or simply putting them into trash containers. There is no rational reason for justice to have been delayed [28] years."

Per the DOC's 2010 Operating Per Capita Cost Report, that taxpayer cost of $66.90 a day ($24,418 a year) for the death-row inmates applies to all of the 129 convicted murders currently held there, which set the state back an estimated $3.1 million in 2010.

Of course, that cost doesn't include the state's legal fees for what's typically dozens of worthless appeals from inmates who don't want to be executed.

Horne was claiming the need to "the need to reform the death penalty process" the last time this happened, when kid-killing child molester Richard Bible was executed -- after also spending more than 20 years on death row.

Still, Horne says he's working on it.

"We have been working hard to help reform a system in which delays between verdict and execution are so long," he says. "Families need to see justice done in a timely manner."

James King contributed to this report.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley