Baze Not Sorry For Shooting Sheriff, Deputy; Fights Execution

EDDYVILLE, KY -- Ralph Baze says he's through apologizing for gunning down Powell County Sheriff Steve Bennett and Deputy Arthur Briscoe on Jan. 30, 1992, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal in its Sunday edition.

He says now, as he said then, that he shot the lawmen in a desperate attempt to save his own life.

"I've done all the apologizing I'm going to do," Baze said in a recent prison interview. "They either believe me or they don't."

Baze also makes no apologies for working since his 1993 murder conviction and death sentence to persuade the appellate courts to free him, reports the Courier-Journal

"I'm not going to throw my hands up and not try to even save my life," he said.

But those efforts have left the families of Baze's victims with a bitter resentment that has simmered for the past 15 years.

"It makes me sick," said Carl Briscoe, as he talks about how the man who shot his brother in the back of the head is today sitting comfortably in a cell in Eddyville.

This week, the case garners national attention as the United States Supreme Court considers it, and another from Kentucky, as part of an argument that lethal injection is a cruel and unusual punishment, reports The C-J.

Attorneys for Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling Jr., who was convicted of murdering a Lexington couple and wounding their toddler in 1990, sued Kentucky three years ago, saying the drugs involved in lethal injection cause unnecessary pain. After losing that challenge in the Kentucky Supreme Court in November 2006, they petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for review.

In a recent prison interview, Baze said he knows the Supreme Court decision -- no matter what it is -- won't result in his release, reports the newspaper.

"The lethal injection (argument) is something one of my attorneys felt necessary to do," Baze said. "It is litigation that's time had come, and I just happened to be one of the people in the position where it could be filed under my name."

Copyright: The Louisville Courier-Journal

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