WJTV, 4/30/8

Attorneys for death row inmate Earl Wesley Berry are asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to stop his execution, which Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood wants set for Monday.

Berry’s attorneys claim he’s “mentally disabled” and the state’s lethal injection procedure is unconstitutional. If his attorneys are successful, this would be the second time a court has spared Berry’s life in about six months. Berry was less than an hour from his execution in October when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a last-minute reprieve.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on April 16 that the three-drug procedure – that sedates, paralyzes then kills – does not violate the constitutional prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

After the court’s ruling, Hood quickly requested that Berry’s execution date be set for Monday, which is Berry’s 49th birthday. As of today (Wednesday) the Mississippi Supreme Court hadn’t ruled on the request.