U.S. Supreme Courts Lifts Stay of Execution for Darold Stenson
The U.S. Supreme Court says an execution in Washington could have happened Wednesday. They lifted a stay of execution for Darold Stenson, but another court does not want the execution to happen.
The Washington State Supreme Court wants D.N.A. evidence to be looked at. Stenson was convicted of murdering his wife and business partner back in 1993 in Sequim. He has always said he's innocent.
His execution was supposed to happen this week, but two courts issued stays. Now even though the U.S. Supreme Court lifted one of the stays, it does not override the stay at the state supreme court. That stay was put in place in Clallam County.
In January, a judge will decide whether D.N.A. tests will be taken on evidence from the murders. If the judge decides not to do the tests, a new date will be set for the execution.
"The state anticipates the stay will eventually be lifted, that it's just a matter of time and once the stay is lifted the execution will be reset and the execution will occur according to state law," said John Samson, Assitant WA State Attorney General
Stenson believes that new technology for testing D.N.A. could show he is innocent. The attorney general's office says there is one key piece of evidence that proves he's guilty. Blood splatter on his pants from the night of the murder could only have been there if he fired the gun.