(Source: Arizona Department of Corrections) Richard Stokley was convicted of murdering two teen-age girls in rural Cochise County two decades ago.
Richard Stokley (then), Mandy Meyers
PHOENIX (AP/CBS5) -
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.
Stokley confessed to raping, strangling and stabbing one of the girls and dumping her body down a water-filled mineshaft.
Brazeal, who was 19 at the time, turned himself in to authorities in Chandler the day after the girls were killed, claiming Stokley held him hostage while he raped and murdered the girls.
But Stokley claimed Brazeal was a willing participant and assisted in killing the girls to cover up their crimes.
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.
If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, Stokley's execution would be put on hold indefinitely.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
READ: Two chances remain for Arizona inmate to halt pending execution (11/30/12) READ: Convict to be executed in murders of 2 teens as accomplice runs free (11/28/12) READ: Court rejects appeal forMore>>
Monday, December 9 2013 9:46 PM EST2013-12-10 02:46:23 GMT
A former Army recruiter who worked in Tucson-area high schools has been sentenced to a year in jail for having sexual contact with a student.Pima County prosecutors say 30-year-old Matthew Troy RobertsMore >
A former Army recruiter who worked in Tucson-area high schools has been sentenced to a year in jail for having sexual contact with a student.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 11:16 PM EST2013-12-10 04:16:23 GMT
With the mercury expected to drop Monday night the folks at Whitfield Nursery in Phoenix aren't taking any chances. "Here we're looking at some bougainvillea and you can see they've gotten a little coldMore >
With the mercury expected to drop Monday night, the folks at Whitfill Nursery in Phoenix aren't taking any chances.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 7:15 PM EST2013-12-10 00:15:49 GMT
A shoplifting suspect left her 1-year-old toddler in front of a Fry's Food store as she ran from police on Sunday, officers said. According to a court document, Salina Payan, 24, took a number of items,More >
According to a court document, Salina Payan, 24, took a number of items from a Valley food store, concealed them in shopping bags, walked past the cashiers and then abandoned her son.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 7:27 PM EST2013-12-10 00:27:33 GMT
The case involving the police shooting death of Daniel Rodriguez back in October 2010 has focused mainly on former police officer Richard Chrisman. In a rare occurrence, Chrisman was charged with murderMore >
A conservative watchdog group is calling for an investigation into the fatal shooting involving former Phoenix police Officer Richard Chrisman. They want Chrisman's partner investigated, not Chrisman.More >
Monday, December 9 2013 8:30 PM EST2013-12-10 01:30:06 GMT
Other wanted fugitives: Police are also looking for 34-year-old Lawrence Dominguez. He is wanted for probation violation on an original charge of failing to register as a sex offender. He is describedMore >
The suspect in this week's Manhunt Monday is seen in some very clear surveillance video inside a Circle K buying a condom in October just before the sexual assault occurred. More >
Monday, December 9 2013 7:40 PM EST2013-12-10 00:40:25 GMT
The family of a missing Cave Creek special needs child is turning to the public for help finding her. Xenia Chapman, 15, disappeared Nov. 29 from a QuikTrip store at Cave Creek and Deer Valley roads.More >
Xenia Chapman, 15, disappeared Nov. 29 from a QuikTrip store at Cave Creek and Deer Valley roads.More >