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Judge refuses to block execution next week

A judge on Wednesday denied a request by an Arizona inmate to block his execution, scheduled for next week for the 1984 killing of a Tempe girl.

Judge Janet Barton of Maricopa County Superior Court determined previous court rulings preclude consideration of Donald Beaty’s claims that he lacked effective legal representation in prior proceedings.

Beaty’s lawyers argued his previous attorneys never presented evidence that he endured severe physical and sexual abuse as a child. That information was relevant in Beaty’s sentencing, they said.

However, Barton said there is no constitutional right to any representation in post-conviction relief proceedings in trial court. She also said Beaty’s argument that his trial counsel provided ineffective representation was previously considered and rejected.

Another Arizona death row inmate, Daniel Wayne Cook, was scheduled to be executed April 5, but the U.S. Supreme Court put his execution on hold until it rules on Cook’s claims of ineffective representation during post-conviction proceedings.

Beaty also has requests pending with the Arizona Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Beaty was convicted in the rape and murder of Christy Ann Fornoff. The 13-year-old was killed while making collections for her newspaper route.

The last inmate to be executed in Arizona was Eric John King. He was put to death March 29 for two killings during the robbery of a Phoenix convenience store.

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