Virginia Gov. Gerald L. Baliles decided yesterday to deny a request for clemency on behalf of death row inmate Richard Lee Whitley, who is scheduled for execution Monday night.
Baliles "reviewed the evidence in the case" but "was not persuaded to exercise his authority for clemency," said Chris Bridge, the governor's press secretary.
The decision means Whitley, 41, has only one appeal pending, to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Lawyers filed an appeal for Whitley with the nation's high court Thursday night, after the Virginia Supreme Court and 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected stay requests, a court spokesman said.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist referred the appeal to the full court, and because the court is in recess, each justice must be contacted and polled.
Richmond lawyer Timothy Kaine is seeking a stay of execution for Whitley, arguing that procedural errors in previous appeals prevented some constitutional questions in the case from being litigated.
Kaine contends those issues include an "illegal confession" and the fact that Whitley was not appointed a psychiatrist for his 1981 trial.
Whitley was convicted of sexually assaulting, strangling and cutting the throat of a 63-year-old neighbor in 1981 in Fairfax County.