Judge rejects death row inmate's request for help with clemency

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected an attempt by
a Kentucky death row inmate to force prison officials to sit down
for interviews for a clemency petition.
U.S. District Judge Amul R. Thapar on Thursday said federal
courts don't have the power to become involved in clemency issues.
Ralph Baze, 54, was seeking access to corrections officers and
officials at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville to
prepare a request asking Gov. Steve Beshear to spare his life.
Baze was convicted in 1992 of killing Powell County Sheriff
Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe in eastern Kentucky as they
tried to serve a warrant on him.
Baze was the lead plaintiff in a case the U.S. Supreme Court
used in 2008 to rule the lethal injection protocol used by nearly
three dozen states did not amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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