Who Is Clarence Dixon? Arizona to Execute First Death Row Inmate in 8 Years

By Khaleda Rahman

The Arizona Supreme Court has issued an execution warrant for death row inmate Clarence Dixon.

The court on Tuesday set a May 11 execution date for 65-year-old Dixon, who was sentenced to death for the killing of 21-year-old Arizona State University student Deana Bowdoin.

Bowdoin had been raped, strangled and stabbed to death in her Tempe apartment in January 1978, prosecutors said.

But it wasn't until 2001 that a police detective tested DNA against a national database and found it matched Dixon's profile. Dixon was then serving a life sentence for a sexual assault conviction, but had lived across the street from Bowdoin at the time of her killing. He was indicted for Bowdoin's murder in 2002.

If it goes ahead, Dixon's execution would be Arizona's first use of the death penalty in almost eight years.