Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Schwarzenegger Allows Execution Of Air Force Veteran

The execution of Donald Beardslee, 61, will proceed by Lethal Injection at San Quentin State Prison north of San Francisco at one minute after midnight (3:01 a.m. EST) on Wednesday morning. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declined on Tuesday to grant clemency to the murderer setting the stage for California's first execution in three years. Donald Beardslee's attorneys argue he was suffering from mental illness aggravated by brain injuries when in 1981 he shot Stacey Benjamin, 19, and choked and slashed the throat of Patty Geddling, 23, in California. The Air Force veteran, who was out on parole at the time for a 1969 murder of a young woman in Missouri, confessed to both killings and was sentenced to death in 1984. Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Beardslee's request for a stay of execution, turning down his appeal without any comment or recorded dissent. Beardslee declined the state's offer of a last meal of his choice on Tuesday