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URGENT Court Denies Darden Stay

March 15, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court by a vote of 6-3 refused early Tuesday to postpone the execution of Willie Jasper Darden, scheduled to die later in the morning in Florida’s electric chair.

Darden, who was scheduled to be electrocuted at 7 a.m. at Florida State Prison, has maintained his innocence in the 1973 fatal shooting of a Lakeland furniture store owner during a robbery.

His case has been the focus of an international campaign against capital punishment. Pope John Paul II and Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov had made appeals on his behalf.

The dissenting votes were cast by justices William J. Brennan, Thurgood Marshall, and Harry A. Blackmun.

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