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Armband Alert: 05/16/12, Lopez,AZ; Stay Issued: 05/16/12,Staley,TX

May 15, 2012

NOTE: Steven Staley of Texas was scheduled to die tomorrow, 05/16/12, but over the weekend a Texas District Court judge issued a stay to review the constitutionality of medicating Mr. Staley in order to make him sane enough to be executed (I am not making this up!).

Please wear a black wrist band tomorrow, 05/16/12, in silent protest of the execution of Samuel Lopez by the government of the state of Arizona.  Mr. Lopez will be poisoned to death for the 1986 brutal murder of Estefana Holmes.

Arizona must clear up a docket full of legal problems with Samuel Lopez’s case before exacting its pound of flesh from him. Governor Brewer reconstituted the state’s parole board at the end of April this year, packing it with three new members having obvious prejudgments about the death penalty. One is a member of a police organization that publicly advocates the death penalty. Aside from the bias, a suit filed by Mr. Lopez’s attorneys alleges that the Governor violated twenty different state statues in the reorganization of the parole board.  Just a few days a Superior Court judge in Arizona scheduled for a hearing in July because he believes that the clemency hearing for Mr. Lopez was unfair due to the lack of qualifications of many of its members. At the same time, the judge declared that he has no authority to stop this execution, making a hearing date moot.   If the legal problems are ever resolved, the issue that factors mitigating Mr. Lopez’s culpability in this crime, like severe childhood abuse and brain damage, were never reviewed during his trial amounts to unconstitutionally inadequate representation. Samuel Lopez has not received his federally guaranteed fair trial! Arizona cannot let this injustice stand!


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