Death Row Inmate Thomas West Still a Death Row Inmate; Execution's a Go for Tuesday, Clemency Board Rules

Categories: Death Row
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Arizona Department of Corrections
Thomas Paul West
Convicted murderer Thomas Paul West pleaded his case for his death sentence to be reduced to life in prison in front of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency today, and the majority of the Board was apparently unmoved.

In a 3-2 vote, the Board denied West's request for a commutation of his death sentence.

During the hearing, West argued that being sexually abused as a child by three different men changed his life forever, and caused him to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the Arizona Republic, one of West's admitted abusers -- a former neighbor of his -- addressed the Board and admitted to performing oral sex on him when he was a child.

Bishop Jerry Kicanas of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson also testified and asked that West's life be spared.

West, meanwhile, admitted for the first time publicly that he killed Donald Bortle in 1987, the crime for which he received his death sentence.

West told the Board he beat Bortle to death with his bare hands before leaving his body bound in a closet where it decompose before being discovered. Initially, authorities claimed West beat Bortle with a lamp.

West's execution is scheduled for Tuesday at the state prison in Florence.

Correction: the original version of this post indicated that Bishop Kicanas admitted to performing oral sex on West, which, clearly, is not the case. Kicanas merely asked the Board to spare West's life. It was West's former neighbor who admitted to performing oral sex on him. The post has since been modified.

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4 comments
deano
deano

More liberal slip n fall lawyers trying to delay an execution its has no business in sticking its big nose.  This guy is guilty and should have been executed 10 years ago.  AZ execution method is constitutional. End of story. 

Ross
Ross

There were two witnesses.  One was the bishop.  The other was the guy who molested West.  Got it?  Kicanas is a leader in a church that opposes the death penalty.  When they get caught, they are also opposed to child molestation.  But the bishop is not an admitted child molester.  He's just a self-admitted Catholic.

Ross
Ross

Before rewrite, this story reported: "Bishop Jerry Kicanas of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson testified that he had performed oral sex on West when he was a child."

This was based on the AZCentral.com "get it fast, don't get it clear" website post of two unrelated paragraphs, also since corrected:

"One of the abusers testified via video and admitted that he had in fact performed oral sex on West when he was a child.

"Bishop Jerry Kicanas of the Catholic Diocese of Tucson testified via video asking the board to spare West's life."

Johnny Skee Mask
Johnny Skee Mask

I supposed that if you are a Death Row inmate, its quite pointless to even beg for mercy before the board of clemency. They won't show you mercy whatsoever, as it is already apparent for the case of 4 D.R. inmates put to death this year.

Now I'll wait to see what his final meal would be..............

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