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Sick Inmate Asks for Execution Stay; Court Sets Execution for Woman

November 3, 1995

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ A death row inmate with heart problems wants the Illinois Supreme Court to delay his execution scheduled for later this month, claiming he is not fit to die.

George Delvecchio suffered a heart attack last week while in his cell at Menard Correctional Center and was treated at a hospital, according to court papers filed by his lawyer, Jed Stone.

Hours after returning to his cell Thursday, Delvecchio, 47, apparently suffered a relapse and was sent back to the hospital, said Nic Howell, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

A motion for a stay of Delvecchio’s execution, scheduled Nov. 22, contends that medication, his heart attack and his incoherence make him no longer fit for execution.

Dan Curry, a spokesman for Attorney General Jim Ryan, said there is nothing in Illinois law to prevent someone from being executed on the basis of his physical fitness.

``There’s no requirement that someone be physically fit to be executed,″ said Curry. ``You have to be mentally fit to be executed.″

Prison officials describe Delvecchio’s condition as a ``mild heart attack,″ Howell said. Hospital officials would not comment on Delvecchio’s condition Thursday or even confirm that he was a patient there.

Delvecchio was convicted of the 1977 murder of 6-year-old Tony Canzoneri, the rape and sexual assault of the boy’s mother and the burglary of their home.

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