The Arizona Supreme Court says that once Mark Brnovich’s Attorney General’s Office files for a warrant of execution, Kris Mayes’s Attorney General’s Office cannot withdraw it. Thus, the April 6 execution of Aaron Brian Gunches must move forward, they ruled this afternoon.

Chief Justice Robert Brutinel indicated that the Court’s hands are tied. He wrote for the Court that:

“In sum, once a motion or notice… is filed by the State requesting a warrant of execution showing that all the requirements… have been satisfied, and there are no constitutional or statutory impediments to proceeding, absent a subsequent showing of good cause that the requirements… have not been satisfied, this Court must issue the warrant and authorize the State to carry out the execution.

Indeed, were this Court to interpret § 13-759(A) and Rule 31.23 to give the Court unchecked discretion to deny the State’s request for a warrant of execution, the result would be the Court inappropriately involving itself in a determination assigned to the executive branch, contrary to this Court’s statutory role to provide only review and authorization.”

(We only removed most of the statutory and rules citations so that it could be read more clearly.) 

For more background on this roller coaster case, please check out this article (and others) from the Republic’s Jimmy Jenkins.

Here is their Decision and the Warrant:


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