Saturday, 29 December 2007

Bush 'inclined' to grant reprieve to killer facing execution

Bush 'inclined' to grant reprieve to killer facing execution

McGinn, 43, was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the 1993 rape and murder of his 12-year-old stepdaughter

May 31, 2000
Web posted at: 8:57 p.m. EDT (0057 GMT)

AUSTIN, Texas (CNN) -- Texas Gov. George W. Bush said he is "inclined" to grant his first ever 30-day reprieve to a death row inmate who was convicted of the 1993 rape and ax murder of his 12-year-old step-daughter.

Ricky Nolen McGinn, 43, a mechanic with an 11th grade education, is scheduled to die shortly after 6 p.m. (7 p.m. EDT) Thursday.

The Texas parole board voted 18-0 Wednesday to deny McGinn's request for commutation and voted 11-7 not to grant him a one-time 30-day reprieve.

The Texas governor may commute a death sentence only upon the recommendation of the state parole board, but he can go override their decision on the reprieve.

Asked Wednesday if he would grant such a reprieve, Bush told CNBC's "Hardball": "I'm inclined to because ... I want the man to have a full day in court. And if there is any doubt, any outstanding evidence that could exonerate him from the rape, we ought to look at it."

Bush said he would wait to make his decision until all appeals had been exhausted, but later told reporters he was "more than likely" to grant the reprieve if the decision comes to him.

The comments come just days after Bush advocated DNA testing to "erase any doubts" from some death penalty cases.

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