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Executions Tomorrow

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Two executions are scheduled for tomorrow:  Cleve Foster in Texas, previously noted here, and Daniel Wayne Cook in Arizona, previously noted here.  Even the Ninth Circuit didn't buy Cook's lethal injection challenge. Update:  The Supreme Court has granted Cook a stay pending review of his certiorari petition.  Michael Kiefer of the Arizona Republic reports that the stay is not based on the thiopental claim ...

But the stay is instead based on a petition arguing that Cook did not have effective legal counsel during his trial. Cook fired his court-appointed attorney and defended himself. After his conviction in 1988, he failed - or did not know enough - to present mitigating evidence from his life that might have prompted the trial judge to impose a life sentence instead of death.
The stay does not necessarily mean the execution will not happen in the next couple of days.  Dylan Smith reports in the Tucson Sentinel,

Cook's death warrant runs from 10 a.m. Tuesday until 10 a.m. Wednesday. He could still be executed in that period at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence if the court denies to hear his appeal before the execution order expires.

Cook was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the tortuous 1987 killings of Kevin Swaney, 16, and Carlos Cruz-Ramos, 26, in Lake Havasu City.

2 Comments

Looks like 24 years isn't enough for the victims' families to wait for justice. SCOTUS decided to grant a stay.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/040411zr1.pdf

That a killer could delay his execution by claiming ineffective assistance (1) 23 years after his trial, and (2) after he chose to represent himself, and fired the lawyer he already had, is just stunning.

No serious legal system would indulge something like this. I have no earthly clue where this hoodlum got five votes, but I'd sure like to know.

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