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Arizona Supreme Court denies review of inmate’s case

This undated photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows death-row inmate Samuel Villegas Lopez. Lopez's attorneys are fighting his upcoming execution, arguing in one filing Tuesday, May 1, 2012 that three newly appointed clemency board members are unprepared to consider his arguments for mercy and in another that the state Department of Corrections is violating his constitutional rights. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections)

The Arizona Supreme Court has denied a petition to review the case of a death row inmate set for execution next week.

Lawyers for Samuel Villegas Lopez had asked the state’s high court to review a lower court’s order dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief on March 30.

The state Supreme Court issued its ruling Wednesday without comment. There’s no immediate response from Lopez’s attorneys.

The 49-year-old Lopez is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection May 16 at the state prison in Florence in what would be the fourth execution in Arizona this year.

Lopez was convicted of raping, robbing and stabbing a 59-year-old woman to death in her Phoenix apartment on Oct. 29, 1986, after what court records described as a “terrible and prolonged struggle.”

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