The Latest: Killer’s attorneys denounce denial of clemency

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Thursday evening’s scheduled execution in Virginia (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Attorneys for a man set to be executed in Virginia are condemning Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision not to intervene in the case.

William Morva is scheduled to receive a lethal injection on Thursday for the 2006 killings of a hospital security guard and sheriff’s deputy. McAuliffe declined Morva’s clemency petition, saying he believe the man got a fair trial.

Morva’s attorneys said in a statement Thursday that Morva was in the “in the grip of a powerful psychosis” when he committed his crimes. They say Morva’s execution will not make Virginia safer.

McAuliffe said that experts wo evaluated Morva for his trial concluded that he didn’t suffer from any illness that would have prevented him from understanding the consequences of his crimes.


1:15 p.m.

Virginia’s Democratic governor says he won’t spare the life of an inmate whose lawyers say was under the influence of delusions when he killed two men during an escape in 2006.

A statement issued by Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office said he has declined a clemency petition in the case of 35-year-old William Morva, who is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday. The statement says the governor didn’t find a substantial enough reason to intervene.

Morva’s attorneys have said the man suffers from a profound mental illness that made him believe his life in jail was in danger when he went on the killing spree. Morva’s attorneys said jurors weren’t aware how severe his mental illness was before they sentenced him to death.

Jailed in 2005 on accusations that he tried to rob a convenience store, Morva was taken to a hospital to treat an injury. There, he attacked a sheriff’s deputy, stole the deputy’s gun and shot an unarmed security guard before fleeing. A day later, Morva shot another sheriff’s deputy and was later found in a ditch with the deputy’s gun nearby.


3 a.m.

When Virginia carries out its next execution, more of the process will be shrouded in secrecy.

Virginia is scheduled to execute 35-year-old William Morva on Thursday for the killings of a hospital security guard and a sheriff’s deputy, unless the state governor intervenes.

Recent changes to the state’s protocol means that if Morva is executed, he would remain shielded from the view of his attorney and media witnesses until after he has been restrained and IV lines have been inserted.

Execution witnesses used to watch inmates walk into the chamber and be restrained. A curtain would then be closed so witnesses couldn’t see the placement of the IV and heart monitors and reopened so the execution could begin.

The change has drawn fire from defense attorneys and transparency advocates.

The post The Latest: Killer’s attorneys denounce denial of clemency appeared first on WTOP.


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