Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Stay Granted to Ronald Chambers

Stay Granted to Ronald Chambers

AP reports that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has issued a stay in the case of Ronald Chambers, who was scheduled to be executed this Thursday. LINK

Ronald Chambers, 52, was scheduled for lethal injection Thursday, but his punishment was delayed indefinitely by an order from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

"We are grateful for the stay," James Volberding, Chambers' lawyer, said. "We did not know whether the Supreme Court would grant one."

Chambers' attorneys had asked the high court to postpone his execution until they rule on another Texas capital case that raises questions about whether jurors were properly instructed to consider mitigating factors when deciding a death sentence. Arguments in those three related cases were held last week in Washington.

"Chambers has the same issues," Volberding said.

Chambers was condemned for the abduction and fatal shooting of Mike McMahan, 22, a Texas Tech student from Washington state, during a1975 carjacking in Dallas.

Scalia, in his brief one-paragraph order, said only that the reprieve would remain in effect until the court decides whether to accept Chambers' request for a review. The court's current session runs through June.

"The most likely reason the Supreme Court stayed the execution is to first decide the three pending cases argued Jan. 17 dealing with whether those three men received proper sentencing instructions,' Volberding said.

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