Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues | Arkansas Blog

Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues


Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.

Davis, who was convicted in 1992, has completed normal appeal avenues. This was another appeal for post-conviction relief. It argues he had ineffective counsel during the penalty phase of his trial because a full accounting of elements of his life had not been presented. He's tried to raise that issue before, Judge Susan Hickey noted in denying the claim. She said he'd waited too long to raise it again and said the argument by attorneys that additional court precedent in a February case didn't excuse his failure to raise the issue before. She said that case also was based on racial elements not present in this case.

In short, she said Davis' claim, even though execution could be pending, didn't rise to the "extraordinary circumstances" that would justify a stay. She did certify his ability to appeal the ruling to the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Here's Hickey's ruling.
Davis killed Jane Daniel during a robbery in her Rogers home in 1990. He has admitted the crime, but said in a denied plea for clemency that he is not the person he was then.

State officials are preparing to execute Davis though, for now, a stay issued by federal Judge Kristine Baker in a case applying to nine inmates remains in force. The state is hoping the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals will lift her stay.

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