June 13, 2007 -- RICHMOND – “Christopher Scott Emmett was convicted of the murder of friend and co-worker John Fenton Langley on October 10, 2001. He killed Langley in their hotel room and then proceeded to rob him of $100 to purchase cocaine. Emmett was sentenced to death.
“Given the nature of this crime, I have no reason to question the prosecutor’s decision to seek the death penalty or the jury’s decision that death was an appropriate punishment. State and federal courts have consistently upheld Emmett’s conviction and sentence.
“Emmett is scheduled to be executed this evening at 9:00 p.m. He has filed a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court seeking review of his conviction and sentence, as well as a motion to stay his execution. Earlier today, the Court denied his stay motion, with four Justices voting to grant the stay.
“The Court has yet to consider whether to grant Emmett’s writ of certiorari. Under the Rules of the Supreme Court, the writ will be granted if four Justices vote to accept his appeal. The Court does not expect to consider his appeal until late September.
“Basic fairness demands that condemned inmates be allowed the opportunity to complete legal appeals prior to execution. Allowing Emmett’s execution to go forward before the Supreme Court rules on his appeal would foreclose any additional review of his case. The irreversibility of an execution and the fact that four Justices of the Court believe a stay is needed to consider the appeal warrant my intervention in this case.
“Therefore, I delay the execution of Christopher Emmett until October 17th, 2007.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim.”
Source: Virginia Governor