- The Washington Times - Monday, November 9, 2009

The Supreme Court on Monday refused an eleventh-hour appeal to block the execution of John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of the 2002 Washington-area sniper attacks.

Muhammad is scheduled to die by injection Tuesday in a Virginia prison for the Oct. 9, 2002, killing of Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas, Va., gas station.

Though the appeal was denied, Justice John Paul Stevens expressed concern about inmates being executed before their appeals process is concluded.

Related article: Meet the man who prosecuted the D.C. sniper

“Under our normal practice, Muhammads timely petition for [appeal] would have been reviewed at our conference on November 24, 2009,” he said in a two-page statement. “Virginia has scheduled his execution for November 10, however, so we must resolve the petition on an expedited basis unless we grant a temporary stay. By denying Muhammads stay application, we have allowed Virginia to truncate our deliberative process on a matter… . This result is particularly unfortunate in light of the limited time Muhammad was given to make his case in the District Court.”

Justice Stevens was joined in the statement by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Muhammad still has a clemency petition before Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.

Muhammad and accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo are linked to a three-week killing spree in October 2002 across Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in which 10 people died.

The two also are suspected of fatal shootings in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana and other states.

Malvo, now 24, is serving a life sentence in a Virginia prison. He was found guilty on several charges related to the attacks, including the Oct. 14, 2002, slaying of FBI analyst Linda Franklin outside a Home Depot in Northern Virginia.

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