[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----INDIANA
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jun 21 16:14:42 CDT 2005
INDIANA----stay of execution holds
Prison stops execution preparations
Preparations to execute death row inmate Michael Lambert were put on hold
today less than 11 hours before he was scheduled to be executed.
"It is not going to occur," said Barry Nothstine, a spokesman for the
Indiana State Prison. "We've been ordered to stand down and return prison
operations to normal."
The prison had been proceeding with plans to execute Lambert despite an
order Friday by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordering a stay of
the execution. The state attorney generals office on Monday appealed the
stay to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Staci Schneider, a spokeswoman for the state attorney generals office, and
Lambert attorney Alan Freedman both said they did not have any update on
the appeal and had not heard the execution would not go forward.
Lambert, 34, was condemned for the December 1990 shooting of Muncie police
Officer Greg Winters.
Nothstine said the last time the prison stopped preparations within 24
hours of a scheduled execution was on Nov. 29, 1995, when the 7th Circuit
Court of Appeals in Chicago ordered a stay for Gary Burris about 12 hours
before the scheduled execution time.
Burris, convicted in the 1980 shooting death of an Indianapolis cab
driver, was executed 2 years later.
The shooting death of Winters happened after police officers arrested
Lambert, who was then 20, for public intoxication, briefly patted him down
and put him in the back seat of Winters cruiser. A few minutes later,
Winters was shot 5 times to the back of his head and neck. He died 11 days
Lambert told the parole board last week that he was so drunk at the time
of the shooting he could only remember brief snippets of what happened. He
said did not know what he had done until his mother told him the next day.
(source: Associated Press)
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