- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 15, 2009

An attorney for convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad said in an online statement that he will file a request for clemency with Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine on Oct. 22.

Muhammad faces execution Nov. 10 for the October 2002 murder of Dean Harold Meyers at a Manassas gas station. Muhammad and his then-teenage accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, killed 10 people and injured three others during a 23-day shooting spree in the District, Virginia and Maryland.

Malvo was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the attacks.

Jon Sheldon, Muhammad’s attorney, posted a statement on his law firm’s Web site Tuesday.

Mr. Kaine said in a recent radio interview that he saw no reason why next month’s execution should be stopped.

“I know of nothing in this case now that would suggest that there is any credible claim of innocence or that there was anything procedurally wrong with the prosecution,” Mr. Kaine told the WTOP Radio’s “Ask the Governor” program on Sept. 29.

Mr. Kaine said he would review the request once it was received.

In August, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Muhammad’s claims that prosecutors withheld critical evidence and that Muhammad should not have been allowed to act as his own attorney.

Mr. Sheldon also said he planned to file an appeal on Nov. 2 with the U.S. Supreme Court - eight days before Muhammad is scheduled to die.

The candidates for Virginia’s attorney general said the execution should go forward.

“I see absolutely nothing that would justify that guy not getting capital punishment,” said Delegate Steve Shannon, a Democrat. “That guy terrorized Virginians. He went on a killing spree.”

State Sen. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, a Republican, agreed.

“There is no reason I see that it shouldn’t go forward,” he said.

Mr. Sheldon’s online statement also said it was unlikely that he would grant any of the numerous requests for interviews that Muhammad has received in recent weeks since the execution date was announced.

According to prison rules, Muhammad is not allowed to meet with his adult son, much less a reporter, Mr. Sheldon said. He said there also are ethical issues behind mental illness and comments that could arise during a potential interview.

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