Ariz. man wants execution delay until new governor

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Associated Press

Posted on June 19, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 19 at 4:01 PM

PHOENIX (AP) — Attorneys for a death-row inmate set to be put to death in Arizona next week want the execution delayed until the state has a new governor.

In a Tuesday filing with the state Supreme Court, attorneys for Samuel Villegas Lopez argue that Gov. Jan Brewer appointed "political cronies" to a clemency board in an unconstitutional, closed-door process.

The lawyers say that means Lopez can't receive a fair hearing before the board, which is often an inmate's last chance for mercy before an execution.

Lopez's attorneys say Brewer's three recent appointments to the five-member clemency board ensure that they'll never vote for a delay of execution or to have a death penalty reduced to life imprisonment.

Brewer's spokesman has denied that the governor is motivated by politics.

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