[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----KY., WASH.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Nov 27 10:22:57 CST 2008
Death row inmate loses high court appeal
A Kentucky death row inmate convicted of killing a sheriff and a deputy
trying to arrest him has lost an appeal before the state Supreme Court.
Kentucky's high court ruled Wednesday that Ralph Baze's trial, which took
place in Rowan County, was held in the proper place. The crime was
committed in Powell County, but the trial was moved to Rowan County after
a special judge decided he couldn't get a fair trial.
"We're disappointed by the outcome," said Baze's attorney, assistant
public advocate David Barron.
Baze was convicted of the 1992 shooting deaths of Sheriff Steve Bennett
and Deputy Arthur Briscoe who were serving warrants on him. Baze had been
scheduled for execution in September 2007, but the Supreme Court halted it
because of the question over whether it was proper to move the trial.
"The time for such complaint has long since passed," Justice Bill
Cunningham wrote in the court's 6-0 opinion.
Baze, and fellow death row inmates Thomas Clyde Bowling and Brian Keith
Moore are challenging whether the public should have had a say in
Kentucky's lethal injection policy before any changes were made.
School shooter's claims denied
The Kentucky Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a new competency hearing
and trial for a man who pleaded guilty to killing 3 peers in a 1997 school
shooting when he was a teenager.
The court ruled that Michael Carneal's guilty plea should not be
reconsidered after his current claim that his mental illness was worse
than anyone realized at the time of the shootings. The high court also
rejected Carneal's claims that his lawyer was ineffective.
Carneal, now 25, is serving a sentence of life without the chance of
parole for at least 25 years for the Dec. 1, 1997, shooting at Heath High
School in Paducah when he was 14.
The ruling means Carneal will likely remain in prison until his first
parole eligibility in 2023.
(source: Associated Press)
Court denies Wash. motion to lift execution stay
Washington state on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift a stay
of execution for Darold Ray Stenson, after a lower court rejected the
Stenson, 55, has been scheduled to be executed Dec. 3 for the 1993 murders
of his wife and a business partner in Clallam County. But 2 separate
courts issued stays to the execution on Tuesday.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Wednesday
rejected the state's motion to lift a federal court stay, saying the
motion is moot because a second stay is already in place. The appeals
court said the state could refile its motion if the other stay gets
However, the state filed paperwork late Wednesday asking the Supreme Court
to consider lifting the federal stay in the meantime, said state Assistant
Attorney General John Samson.
U.S. District Judge Lonny Suko in Yakima approved the stay, requested by
Stenson attorneys who argued that the state last month revised its
procedure for administering lethal injections, without previously
announcing any changes or going through a rule-making process.
Clallam County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Williams issued the second
stay Tuesday after learning a former inmate had come forward as a possible
witness. Williams initially declined to issue a stay in the case last week
so requested DNA testing could be conducted, but reversed his decision
after hearing details of the new evidence.
According to a court transcript, the new witness, Robert Shinn, claimed a
second man had told him that Stenson was not guilty and had been framed.
Shinn said both he and the 2nd man were high on drugs at the time of the
conversation, about 8 years ago, the transcript indicated.
Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly on Wednesday filed a request
that the state Supreme Court review Williams' decision.
(source: Seattle Times)
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