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June 8, 2006

Scheduled Virginia execution delayed by Governor

As detailed in this AP story, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine tonight "delayed the execution of a triple killer just over an hour before he was scheduled to be put to death amid claims he is mentally retarded and insane.  Kaine's decision came moments after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request for a stay of execution."   My prior post about this case here  pondered whether "SCOTUS or Virginia's new governor might step in on Thursday before [the] scheduled evening execution."  Now we have our answer.

UPDATE:  Here is some local press coverage of Kaine's decision, and his written statement can be accessed at this link.  Here is the key portion of that statement:

In order to comply with the law forbidding execution of a mentally incompetent person and to insure just application of Virginia's capital punishment statute, it is important to have current and independent information about Walton's mental condition. It would be imprudent to either proceed with the execution or grant clemency without further review. 

Therefore, I have decided to delay Walton's execution date until December 8, 2006, for the purpose of conducting an independent evaluation of his mental condition and competence, on terms and conditions prescribed by this office.

MORE: This Washington Post front-page story provides interesting political background on Gov. Kaine's decision and factual background on Walton's case.

June 8, 2006 at 10:41 PM | Permalink

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