Saturday, 28 June 2008

Court denies Schwab's appeal

Court denies Schwab's appeal


TALLAHASSEE -- Mark Dean Schwab's legal alternatives are diminishing ahead of his Tuesday execution.

The Florida Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision Friday, denied Schwab's appeal. Schwab, a child rapist and killer, now heads to the U.S. Supreme Court as the last stop before his scheduled lethal injection. The Florida high court affirmed a Brevard County circuit court that denied Schwab a full hearing on the constitutionality of Florida's death-sentence procedures. One of Schwab's attorneys, Peter Cannon of the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, said the case is poised for a U.S. Supreme Court challenge. He said he and co-counsel Mark Gruber and Daphney Gaylord contend that Florida's mix of chemicals, training methods and physical procedures do not comply with the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings in an April case that set lethal-injection standards. "We're exactly where we should be now," said Cannon. "It's up to the U.S. Supreme Court to decide if Florida is doing it right or not doing it right." State Attorney General Bill McCollum said precedent is on Florida's side. "Based on the litigation that has occurred thus far, I stand by our belief that the procedures used to carry out lethal injection in Florida are constitutionally sound and the decisions made by the state and federal courts, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court, have been correct," McCollum said. Schwab was sentenced to death July 1, 1992, for the abduction, sexual assault and murder of Junny Rios-Martinez, 11, of Cocoa. Scwhab's execution would be Florida's first since December 2006 when a botched lethal injection led to a state-imposed moratorium, since lifted. Schwab's November execution was delayed by a U.S. Supreme Court review of lethal injection in a Kentucky case.

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