(April 6, 2021) Today, the Arizona Attorney General took steps to request execution dates from the Arizona Supreme Court, including for Frank Atwood. The State is attempting to begin the execution process for Mr. Atwood, despite open legal issues—including whether he is innocent—that need resolution to ensure any measure of reliability in this conviction and death sentence.
Mr. Atwood was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1984 murder of eight-year- old Vicki Lynne Hoskinson. Eyewitnesses reported seeing the child alive hours after the only time Mr. Atwood could have crossed paths with her. Yet the authorities zeroed in on Mr. Atwood, carrying out an investigation riddled with flaws and lacking in concrete evidence connecting him to the victim’s disappearance, let alone her death.
Below is a statement from Joseph Perkovich, an attorney for Mr. Atwood:
“Frank Atwood’s litigation since early 2020 has been frustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State is now attempting to sweep aside the most profound issues that can arise in our legal system, including whether the convicted is actually guilty of the crime and whether death is a morally or legally tenable punishment in the individual’s case. Mr. Atwood needs the opportunity to present these issues before the Arizona Supreme Court entertains setting an
- Joseph Perkovich, Attorney for Frank Atwood
- April 6, 2021
BACKGROUND ON FRANK ATWOOD’S CASE
In September 1984, Frank Atwood and a fellow-traveler were passing through Tucson when an eight-year-old girl, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, disappeared while riding her bicycle.
Hours later, long after Mr. Atwood supposedly committed this crime, multiple witnesses spotted the girl at the Tucson Mall. But a tip put Mr. Atwood in the same neighborhood that afternoon.
As soon as police learned of his California convictions for child sex-related offenses, they dropped all other investigations, and he was soon arrested. He answered officers’ questions and consented to a search of his car. No evidence of the victim was found.
Seven months later, some of the girl’s bones were found off the side of Ina Road, an arterial avenue. Long after Mr. Atwood’s trial, it emerged that these remains had been buried before they appeared on the desert floor.
The prosecution’s evidence showed there was nowhere near enough time for Mr. Atwood to have abducted, killed, and buried the victim.
Evidence later emerged that the State manufactured its only physical evidence connecting Mr. Atwood to the child – supposed contact between his car and her bicycle — but the courts have yet to get to the truth of that matter. That evidence has never been subjected to modern scientific
Mr. Atwood, the son of a Holocaust survivor, is now wheelchair-bound and suffering from severe spinal deterioration among other medical problems that would make the process of executing him excruciatingly painful.
For more information, contact Joseph Perkovich, firstname.lastname@example.org.