Ga. board denies clemency for convicted killer

/ Source: The Associated Press

A Georgia board has denied a condemned killer's clemency bid, paving the way for him to likely become the nation's first inmate put to death since the U.S. Supreme Court held that lethal injection is constitutional.

William Earl Lynd, 53, still has an appeal pending before the Georgia Supreme Court seeking to stay his execution, which is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. EST. It is unclear when the state's top court will act on that request.

Lynd's execution would be the first since the U.S. Supreme Court last month upheld Kentucky's lethal injection protocol, clearing the way for executions to resume in the roughly three dozen states that use that method. Capital punishment around the nation had been on a de facto hold for about seven months until the court ruled.

Lynd's lawyer, Tom Dunn, appealed to the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles, arguing that medical testimony presented at Lynd's 1990 trial was flawed and the jury that sentenced him to death never learned of a possible mitigating factor: He had been sexually molested by neighbors at age 8.

The five-member board rejected his plea on Monday.

Convicted for kidnapping and killing
Lynd was sentenced to death for kidnapping and killing his live-in girlfriend, Ginger Moore, two days before Christmas in 1988.

Vigils are expected around the state Tuesday night by death penalty opponents.

Meanwhile, a Mexican-born Texas prisoner whose death sentence set off an international dispute and a U.S. Supreme Court rebuke of the White House, also received an execution date Monday.

Texas State District Judge Caprice Cosper set the Aug. 5 lethal injection for 33-year-old Jose Medellin for his participation in the gang rape and strangulation deaths of two teenage girls 15 years ago in Houston when they stumbled upon a gang initiation rite.

The Supreme Court in March refused to hear Medellin's appeal, saying President George W. Bush overstepped his authority by ordering Texas to reopen his case and the cases of 50 other Mexican nationals condemned for murders in the U.S. Texas refused to comply.

Medellin is among 14 native Mexicans on death row in Texas. Mexico has no death penalty and sued the United States in the world court in 2003. Mexico and other opponents of capital punishment have sought to use the world court to fight for foreigners facing execution in the U.S.