Brewer won't grant reprieve or witness Landrigan execution - East Valley Tribune: Arizona

Brewer won't grant reprieve or witness Landrigan execution

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Posted: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 1:25 pm | Updated: 4:32 pm, Wed Oct 27, 2010.

Gov. Jan Brewer won't witness the execution of the man to whom she denied a reprieve.

The governor said Tuesday she has no intention of watching the state put Jeffrey Landrigan to death. His execution, originally scheduled for Tuesday morning, was placed on hold by a federal judge.

Brewer brushed aside questions of whether his being put to death in the name of the state - and having refused to spare him - she should see it through.

"You might think that," she said. "The bottom line is, I'm not attending the execution. It will be somebody from my office."

Gubernatorial press aide Paul Senseman said he does not know which staffer will attend.

Brewer also said she was not swayed by comments from Cheryl Hendrix, who was the judge at his trial, that she would not have sentenced Landrigan to death had she been presented with evidence of Landrigan's background and mental health problems. The former judge said she instead would have sentenced him to life behind bars.

"I made my decision," Brewer said. "I said there would be no reprieve. The Supreme Court said there would be no reprieve."

Brewer said the issue is now before federal appellate courts "and we'll wait and see what happens."

It also appears that Attorney General Terry Goddard, who is arguing to the federal courts to let the execution go forward, also will not witness the event.

"The AG's Office has been invited to attend and will be represented," said spokesman Steve Wilson. "But we are focusing on the matters before the court right now, not who specifically will attend the execution."

Wilson did say that Goddard had witnessed at least one execution in the past.

That request for a reprieve came last week from the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency to let state courts resolve Landrigan's requests for DNA testing.

Brewer, in denying the request, said the courts have since resolved that issue, eliminating any need for a delay.

Landrigan has, however, convinced a federal judge to stay the execution over questions about the source of drugs to be used, a decision the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to overturn.

The warrant by the Arizona Supreme Court allowing Landrigan to be executed at 10 a.m. Tuesday, is valid for only 24 hours. If there is no execution by 10 a.m. Wednesday, prosecutors have to go back to the court.

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