David Larry Nelson continues to pursue last minute appeals to stop his execution, scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, claiming he has collapsed veins and that administering the lethal injection would be "painful" and "cruel and unusual punishment."
A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals turned down Nelson's request for a stay Wednesday night. Earlier today his attorneys asked for a hearing by all 11 judges on the appeals court.
One of Nelson's attorneys, Joe Morgan the Third of Birmingham, said if turned down by the 11th Circuit, Nelson plans to ask both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Alabama Supreme Court to stop the execution.
The 58-year-old Nelson was sentenced to die for the Jan. 1, 1978 shooting death of Wilson Thompson of Kimberly during a New Year's Eve and New Year's Day crime spree. Nelson was also convicted in the New Year's Eve shooting death of a Birmingham cab driver.
Clay Crenshaw, chief of the death penalty division at the Alabama attorney general's office, said he doesn't expect Nelson's appeals to be successful this time.
None of Thompson's eight living brothers and sisters or other relatives were planning to attend the execution. One of his sisters, Shirley Jones of Vernon, said after 26 years it's hard for family members to believe Nelson will be executed.
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