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Inmate seeking stay of execution from U.S. Supreme Court

Inmate seeking stay of execution from U.S. Supreme Court

A death row inmate has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop his execution so the courts can review evidence that he has a long-standing brain injury.
Marcus Reymond Robinson, 33, is scheduled to die by injection at 2 a.m. Friday (0700 GMT) for a 1991 murder and robbery.
Robinson's attorneys said Wednesday they have new evidence that was not available at their client's trial. As a child, Robinson was beaten by his alcoholic father, and a resulting brain injury affected his impulse control, the attorneys said in the filing. They said the evidence could not be presented at his sentencing hearing in 1994 because the science underlying that evidence did not exist.
The attorneys also filed a lawsuit against the state in Wake County Superior Court, saying there is no guarantee the execution will be painless.
After a hearing Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said he needed more information. The judge said a state law requires that execution methods be approved by the governor and Council of State, a policy-making panel of top state elected officials, and he told state attorneys to report to him Thursday.
Similar questions about whether lethal injection is inhumane have put executions on hold in nine states _ Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.
Separately, a group of 30 Democratic state legislators have asked Governor Mike Easley to stop all executions until a committee studies the injection method.
The North Carolina attorneys are seeking a stay so issues about the ethics of a doctor attending the execution, as required by state law, can be examined.
That lawsuit also was filed for James Edward Thomas, 51, who is scheduled to be executed Feb. 2 for a murder and sexual assault he has said he does not remember.
The governor is considering requests for executive clemency from both inmates.
Last week, the North Carolina Medical Board approved an ethics policy that prohibits a doctor from participating in an execution in any way, even for monitoring vital signs.
Central Prison Warden Marvin Polk said in an affidavit filed Monday in a federal case on lethal injection that the doctor is at an execution only to sign a death certificate, but if the doctor feels the need to intervene, the warden would stop the execution.
A nurse watches the brain wave monitor that indicates the inmate's level of consciousness, Polk said. An emergency medical technician watches the heart rate.


Updated : 2020-12-05 05:03 GMT+08:00