Inmate set to die for Ariz. murders; 2nd man free

Inmate set to die for Ariz. murders; 2nd man free

CREATED Dec. 2, 2012

Web Producer: Taylor Higgins

PHOENIX (AP) - U.S. Supreme Court justices are being asked to block an Arizona death-row inmate's scheduled execution Wednesday on grounds that he's being unfairly punished in comparison with another man convicted of the same crime.

Richard Dale Stokley was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1991 killings of two 13-year-old girls in rural Cochise County.

Co-defendant Randy Brazeal was released from prison last year after serving a 20-year term imposed under a plea agreement for second-degree murder.

Stokley's lawyers argue that it violates his constitutional rights to be days away from execution while Brazeal is free despite being at least equally responsible.

Officials have said Brazeal got a plea deal because prosecutors were afraid he could be acquitted if they had to go to trial before DNA evidence was available.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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