Follow That Story: Clinton Sets Juan Raul Garza Execution Date 8/4/00

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The Associated Press reported on August 3rd that President Clinton has reset the execution date for Juan Raul Garza, the Texas man convicted under federal "drug kingpin" statutes who would become the first federal prisoner executed since 1963. In a move that has the odor of electoral politics, Clinton rescheduled Garza's execution for December 12th, five weeks after the November elections.

Clinton had earlier placed Garza's August 5th execution date on hold, with administration officials saying they wanted to put in place new guidelines for appeals for clemency in death penalty cases. The Justice Department on Wednesday released those new rules, which allow inmates 30 days to file for clemency after an execution date is set. The Justice Department must review the request and make a recommendation to the president within 90 days after receiving the request.

Under the new rules, the condemned's attorney may make an oral presentation on his client's behalf. So may families of victims, who can ask for prosecutors to assist them.

Garza's attorney, Gregory Wiercioch, told the AP he intends to ask Clinton to commute Garza's sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Weircioch said his request will highlight racial and geographic disparities in federal death sentences.

See for prior coverage of the Garza case and for our discussion with anti-death penalty activist and actor/producer Mike Farrell.

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Issue #148, 8/4/00 The Shadow Convention: Drug Reformers Flex Muscles in Philadelphia | Canadian Appeals Court Calls Marijuana Laws Unconstitutional, Ottawa Must Act or Marijuana Could Be Legal in Ontario Next Year | Police Chiefs Call for National Commission on Criminal Justice Issues: Cite Lack of Trust, Corruption, Police Violence, Racial Profiling | A Barrel Full of Bad Apples: Police Corruption and the War on Drugs | Salt Lake City Mayor "Just Says No" to DARE | Follow That Story: Clinton Sets Juan Raul Garza Execution Date | From Real Life: Lawrence and Lamont Garrison | US Justice Department Petitions Supreme Court to Overturn OCBC Ruling | 9th Circuit Says Immigrants Cannot Be Deported For Expunged Drug Offenses | AlertS: Colombia, Mandatory Minimums, California, New York, Washington | HEA Campaign | Event Calendar | Washington, DC Job Opportunity for Public Interest Attorney, Other Positions | Editorial: Whitman's Victim
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