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Judge denies San Mateo DA's execution request

Posted: November 20, 2012 1:30 p.m.
Updated: November 20, 2012 1:30 p.m.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — A judge has rejected a request by San Mateo County's District Attorney to set an execution date for a condemned inmate.

San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Barbara Mallach said on Monday that she doesn't have the authority to interfere with court orders that have put the death penalty on hold in California.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said he wanted to keep the case against Robert Fairbank moving. Fairbank pleaded no contest to the 1985 murder of San Francisco graduate student Wendy Cheek. He has exhausted his appeals, but remains on Death Row while courts consider the legality of the state's current three-drug execution protocol.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley had sought a similar court order for the immediate execution of two other Death Row inmates. A judge rejected that request as well.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.




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