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Attorney General asks court to lift Arthur's stay of execution

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Attorney General Troy King has asked the
Alabama Supreme Court to lift its stay of execution for 66-year-old
Thomas Arthur and set a new execution date.

Arthur's execution was halted last week on the eve of his scheduled lethal injection.

The state Supreme Court voted 5-4 for the stay without explanation, pending further orders from the court that haven't come yet.

King says he asked the court for a rehearing on its decision, saying it's still not clear on what basis the court granted the stay.

In his motion filed Thursday, King describes the court's decision as "wrong as a matter of law and fact."

The filing says, "This court should grant the state's motion for rehearing and reverse its decision granting a stay of execution."

Convicted in three trials, Arthur was scheduled to death for the
1982 contract killing of Troy Wicker Jr. of Muscle Shoals.

Two convictions were overturned on technicalities.

In winning last week's stay, Arthur's attorneys sought DNA testing of evidence from his trial and submitted to the court a surprise confession from another convicted murderer claiming he killed Wicker.

King describes that confession as "incredible and unbelievable."

In his filing, King points out that the federal courts on two separate occasions have reviewed Arthur's allegations that DNA testing will exonerate him and definitively rejected Arthur's contentions.

"In certain cases," the filing says, "DNA tests results can definitively tell the world who was the culprit. However, this case is not one of those cases."


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