PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs vowed Friday that her administration will not carry out an execution even though the state Supreme Court scheduled one over the objections of the state’s new attorney general.

The Democratic governor’s pledge not to execute Aaron Gunches on April 6 for his 2002 murder conviction came a day after the state Supreme Court said it must grant an execution order if certain appeals proceedings have been concluded, and that those requirements were met in Gunches. ‘ case.

Last week, Hobbs appointed retired US Magistrate Judge David Duncan to look into the state’s procurement of lethal injection drugs and other death penalty protocols due to the state’s history of mishandling executions.

«Under my administration, an execution will not occur until the people of Arizona can trust that the state is not breaking the law by carrying out the most severe of sentences,» Hobbs said in a statement Friday.

Attorney General Kris Mayes’ office has said it will not seek warrants to carry out executions while the Hobbs review takes place.

Mayes, a Democrat who took office in January, tried to withdraw a request by her Republican predecessor, Mark Brnovich, for a warrant for Gunches’ arrest. The court refused to withdraw the request on Thursday.

The court said Hobbs’ review «does not constitute good cause to refrain from issuing the order.»

Mayes’s office declined to comment on Hobbs’ promise not to carry out the execution next month.

Hobbs contends that while the court authorized Gunches’ execution, his order does not require the state to carry it out.

Dale Baich, a former federal public defender who teaches death penalty law at Arizona State University, said Hobbs can use her authority as state chief executive when the state believes she cannot constitutionally carry out an execution. acceptable.

“What the governor did is not unique,” ​​said Baich, who applauded Hobbs’ move. “Recently, the governors of Alabama, Ohio and Tennessee used their authority to stop executions because they had serious doubts about the protocols in their states.”

The Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted Gunches, issued a statement saying it believes Hobbs «has a constitutional and statutory responsibility to carry out all sentences, including the execution of Aaron Gunches.»

Arizona, which has 110 inmates on death row, carried out three executions last year after a nearly eight-year hiatus following criticism that a 2014 execution was botched and because of difficulties obtaining medication for the execution.

Since executions resumed, the state has been criticized for taking too long to insert an intravenous line for lethal injection into a prisoner’s body in early May and for refusing the Arizona Republic’s request to witness the last three executions. .

Gunches is scheduled to be executed on April 6 for the 2002 murder of Ted Price, his girlfriend’s ex-husband, in Maricopa County.

Gunches, who is not a lawyer, represented himself in November when he asked the Supreme Court to issue his death warrant so that justice could be done and the victims could get closure. In Brnovich’s last month in office, his office petitioned the court for an injunction to execute Gunches.

But Gunches withdrew his request in early January, and Mayes asked that the death warrant filed during Brnovich’s tenure be withdrawn.

In his statement, Hobbs also said Arizona’s prison system has deep problems that require attention, citing a scathing court ruling that found the state had violated the rights of inmates in state prisons by providing them with inadequate medical and mental health care. .

In his first month in office, Hobbs announced the creation of a commission to study a variety of issues in Arizona’s prisons, including staffing levels, conditions inside prisons and the medical care provided to those in jail. Behind bars.