Two chances remain for Arizona inmate to halt pending execution - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Two chances remain for Arizona inmate to halt pending execution

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The United States Supreme Court now has two pending petitions that could halt the upcoming execution of Arizona death row inmate Richard Dale Stokley, 60.

Stokley was found guilty of the rape and murders of two Elfrida, AZ teenagers. Those crimes occurred in July of 1991.

Dale Baich, Stokley's federal public defender, filed a writ of habeas corpus petition with the Supreme Court Friday afternoon. A writ of certiorari was filed Thursday.

One argument is based upon the 8th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Baich argues that Stokley's punishment is disproportionate to that of his accomplice, Randy Brazeal, 41.

Brazeal pled guilty to two counts of 2nd degree murder and received a twenty year prison sentence. He was released from prison in July of 2011.

Another argument involves the alleged ineffectiveness of one of Stokley's post-conviction attorneys.

If the Supreme Court decides to hear either of the cases, Stokley's execution could be delayed indefinitely.

Stokley's death sentence is set to be carried out Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 10 am.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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