Supreme Court denies appeals for two recent federal executions

The Supreme Court denied the appeals of two federal death-row inmates in late September.

On Sept. 22, it denied an appeal to postpone the execution of William LeCroy, who had argued that his execution should be postponed to allow his longtime lead attorney to attend. The attorney has leukemia and is vulnerable to COVID-19, so could not be present for health reasons during the pandemic.

In the petition and emergency request filed Sept. 22, LeCroy’s attorneys argued the inmate had a right to have his attorney present at his execution. They also said a district court was wrong to not approve changing the execution date.

LeCroy, 50, was charged with the 2001 murder of a Georgia nurse.

The Department of Justice said the district court denied LeCroy’s motion to postpone his execution because it did not meet standards for a stay of execution. “Neither the Constitution nor any statute or regulation grants petitioner any right to an execution date that facilitates attendance by all of his (or his preferred) counsel,” it said.

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