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Ariz. Gov. Rejects Execution Delay

March 3, 1999

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) _ Gov. Jane Hull rejected a state panel’s recommendation that a German man scheduled to be executed Wednesday get a 60-day reprieve to allow his government to appeal to the International Court.

``In the interest of justice and with the victims in mind, I have decided to allow this execution to go forward as scheduled,″ Hull said.

The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency on Tuesday refused to reduce Walter LaGrand’s death sentence to life without parole but voted 2-1 for the reprieve recommendation.

Clemency Board Chairman Edward Leyva said the board took the action to give the German government time to appeal to the International Court in the Netherlands. The court can request an order staying the execution.

LaGrand, 37, was the second of two German brothers condemned to die for stabbing a bank manager to death during a botched robbery in 1982.

His brother Karl was executed last week by injection after appeal efforts failed.

Both brothers requested they be executed in the gas chamber in an effort to get the method ruled cruel and unusual, and therefore, unconstitutional.

The legal maneuver worked for a short time for Karl, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed the execution. But hours later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the stay.

Karl LaGrand then changed his mind and asked for injection.

Walter LaGrand would be the first person to die in Arizona’s gas chamber since voters approved use of lethal injection in 1992. On Monday, he rejected the state’s offer to die by injection.

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