U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear death row inmates' appeals

Source: MGN Online
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two death row inmates in Virginia who appealed their capital punishments to the nation's highest court have been denied.

However, one Virginia death row inmate convicted of hiring another man to kill his ex-girlfriend is planning to ask Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt his execution.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to hear Ivan Teleguz's appeal.

Attorney Michael Williams said in an email that Teleguz will now ask the Democratic governor for clemency. Williams said McAuliffe will decide "whether to prevent the Commonwealth from executing an innocent man."

Teleguz was sentenced to death in a murder-for-hire scheme targeting his former girlfriend, Stephanie Sipe, in Harrisonburg. Since then, two key prosecution witnesses have recanted their testimony.

A McAuliffe spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court on Monday also refused to hear the death row appeal of Ricky Gray, who was convicted of killing a Richmond family. His attorney, Rob Lee, said in an email that the lower courts' refusal to "vigorously seek the truth" in Gray's case should prevent him from being executed.

Gray was convicted in the New Year's Day 2006 stabbing and bludgeoning deaths of 49-year-old Bryan Harvey, 39-year-old Kathryn Harvey and their daughters, 9-year-old Stella and 4-year-old Ruby. Bryan Harvey was a well-known Richmond musician, and his wife was co-owner of a toy store.

Gray had argued that the Virginia Supreme Court failed to provide him with a "meaningful opportunity" to challenge the constitutionality of his death sentence. A federal appeals court rejected his appeal last year.

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