Posted April 1, 2008 | comments Leave a comment

* Kaine stays Bell’s execution; imposes statewide moratorium

By Garren Shipley—Daily Staff Writer

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has stepped in to stop next week’s scheduled execution of Edward N. Bell, the Jamaican national who murdered Winchester Police Sgt. Ricky L. Timbrook in 1999.

In announcing the stay, Kaine also said he was imposing a moratorium on all executions in Virginia pending action by the U.S. Supreme Court in another death penalty case.

Kaine said his decision was due in part to a pending U.S. Supreme Court decision in Baze v. Rees. The justices are considering whether Kentucky's lethal injection protocol, which is nearly identical to Virginia’s, protocol is constitutional.

“In order to await the Supreme Court’s ruling in Baze, and respecting the national legal consensus that no execution go forward until that time, I grant a temporary reprieve of the execution date for Edward Nathaniel Bell, currently scheduled for April 8, until July 24, 2008,” Kaine says in a written statement. “This temporary reprieve will allow for issuance of the Supreme Court decision and consideration of whether its outcome has any effect upon the merits of Mr. Bell’s legal claims or request for clemency.”

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Winchester Sheriff Lenny Milholland reacts to the stay of execution during interview with Daily reporter Jim Heffernan

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