Updated Oct 7, 2013 - 8:10 pm
US court denies appeal by Arizona death row inmate
PHOENIX -- A federal appeals court and a federal court in Phoenix both rejected motions and appeals Monday by an Arizona death row inmate scheduled to be executed Wednesday.
A majority of active judges of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco declined to rehear an appeal on behalf of Edward Schad and also denied a request for a stay of execution pending a new clemency hearing.
On Monday evening, U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver in Phoenix ruled that there was ``insufficient reason'' to grant Schad injunctive relief over questions concerning the drug used in Arizona's executions.
Documents filed in federal court Saturday show the pentobarbital to be used expires next month. It comes from Denmark-based Lundbeck, Inc., which stopped selling it for executions in July 2011.
Shad's lawyers were worried that the state may have expired, non-FDA approved drugs.
They also wanted a larger panel of judges to consider an appeal already turned down by a three-judge panel, saying that he had received ineffective legal representation during his original sentencing.
A second appeal sought to halt the execution because of allegations Gov. Jan Brewer's office has improperly influenced the state clemency board to deny clemency in high-profile cases.
A federal judge in Phoenix held a hearing last week where current and former members of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency testified, then ruled there was ``no reasonable basis'' to conclude the current board couldn't be independent because of worries they would lose their jobs or be passed over for reappointment.
The 9th circuit judges affirmed the district court's order denying a preliminary injunction over the clemency board argument.
Schad's lawyer Kelley Henry has said she plans to pursue appeals up until the execution date.
Schad, now 71, was convicted of killing 74-year-old Lorimer ``Leroy'' Grove of Bisbee in August 1978 but has maintained his innocence.
Grove was last seen leaving Bisbee in a Cadillac that was pulling a trailer on his way to visit his sister in Washington state. Eight days later, his body was found south of Prescott in underbrush off the shoulder of U.S. 89.
Authorities say Schad drove Grove's car across the country for a month, used Grove's credit cards and forged a check from the victim's bank account. He was arrested in Utah about a month after the killing.
Schad's scheduled execution last March was postponed when the U.S. Supreme Court denied the state's request to lift a lower court's order blocking the execution. The high court reinstated Schad's death sentence in June.