DC sniper executed after Virginia governor denies appeal for clemency

[JURIST] Convicted DC-area sniper John Allen Muhammad [BBC profile] was executed by lethal injection Tuesday night after Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine [official website] rejected Muhammad's request for clemency and refused to suspend [press release] the execution. The US Supreme Court [official website] on Monday had denied [order, PDF; JURIST report] Muhammad's application for a stay of execution and his petition for certiorari [texts, PDF], which he filed last week. In denying Muhammad clemency, Kaine said:

Muhammad's trial, verdict, and sentence have been reviewed by state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of Virginia, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court. Having carefully reviewed the petition for clemency and judicial opinions regarding this case, I find no compelling reason to set aside the sentence that was recommended by the jury and then imposed and affirmed by the courts.

Accordingly, I decline to intervene.
Muhammad was convicted of murder and sentenced to death [JURIST report] in Virginia in 2005 for his role in the 2002 DC-area sniper shootings [JURIST news archive]. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] upheld [JURIST report] the Virginia death sentence in August, despite Muhammad's allegations of "nondisclosure of exculpatory information by the prosecution" and "ineffective assistance of ... trial counsel." Muhammad was also sentenced in Maryland in June 2006 to six consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole following his conviction [JURIST reports] by a Maryland jury of six counts of murder. Maryland prosecutors did not seek the death penalty but wanted a second conviction in case his earlier Virginia conviction [JURIST reports] was overturned on appeal.

 

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