April 6, 2007
State begins warrant process to execute first inmate since 2000
By Christian Palmer, Arizona Capitol Times
The Arizona Supreme Court received a warrant for execution April 2 from the
Attorney General's Office for Robert Comer, who was sentenced to die in 1988
for a violent crime spree at a campground near Apache Lake.
Comer was found guilty of first degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated
assault, and sexual assault, and sentenced by Maricopa County Superior Court
If the Arizona Supreme Court takes action on the warrant at a meeting
scheduled for April 17, Comer will become the first inmate to be executed in
Arizona since Don Miller.
Miller's sentence was carried out on Nov. 8, 2000, for his role in the
killing of a woman to help a friend escape child support payments.
Under state law, the Arizona Supreme Court must issue a subsequent execution
warrant to the director of the Arizona Department of Corrections. An
inmate's execution occurs 35 days after corrections officials receive the
Arizona has executed 86 inmates since 1910, 28 by hanging, 38 by lethal gas,
and 20 by lethal injection, which became practice in when voters approved
the method in 1992. There are 111 inmates on death row in the state,
according to the Department of Corrections.
Comer, dubbed Arizona's "most dangerous inmate," according to court
documents, prison officials and a court-appointed mental health expert, was
recently granted the power to end his appeals by a 14-1 decision by the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals.
Comer has been cited for 43 disciplinary infractions while serving time in
Arizona, including 11 charges for possession and manufacturing of weapons.
He also served a sentence from 1979 to 1984 in California's Folsom Prison
for rape and kidnapping.
Comer is currently housed in the Special Management Unit II in Florence,
Arizona, a 23-hour-a-day lock down facility that houses Arizona's death row
The warrant was signed by Assistant Attorney General John Pressley Todd and
defense attorney Barbara Lindsay.
Source : Arizona Capitol Times