Execution Date Set for US Sniper

BBC News, Sept. 16, 2009

A US judge in Virginia has set a 10 November execution date for the man behind the 2002 sniper attacks on the Washington DC area.

John Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death for the murder of Dean Meyers, one of 10 people killed during the shootings.

Muhammad’s teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo is serving life in prison for his part in the attacks.

Muhammad’s lawyer said his client would appeal to the US Supreme Court.

The lawyer, Jonathan Sheldon, also said he would ask Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine for clemency.

Muhammad and Malvo killed six people in Alabama and Louisiana before moving on to Maryland, Washington and Virginia.

Mr Meyers was shot at a petrol station in Manassas, Virginia.

In August a federal appeals court rejected Muhammad’s argument that prosecutors withheld critical evidence and that he never should have been allowed to act as his own attorney for a portion of his trial because he was too mentally impaired.

The attorney general’s office had requested last week that the execution be on Monday 9 November.

But Prince William County Circuit judge Mary Grace O’Brien chose Tuesday, so the courts would be open the day before for any last-minute appeals.

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