Del. judge refuses to delay Jan. 20 execution

January 4, 2012 11:00:11 AM PST
A Delaware Superior Court judge has refused to delay the scheduled Jan. 20 execution for a convicted killer while his attorneys pursue a clemency request with the state Board of Pardons and an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge James Vaughn Jr. denied the request for a stay of execution for Robert Gattis following a hearing Wednesday.

Vaughn said he does not have the authority to grant a stay to accommodate a Supreme Court appeal, and declined to issue one based on the upcoming Board of Pardons hearing. He noted that the board itself can ask for more time consider Gattis' request for commutation, and that Gov. Jack Markell also could issue a six-month reprieve.

The board meets Monday to hear Gattis' request for commutation.