"New execution date for DeSoto child killer," is the Shreveport Times report by Vickie Welborn.
For the third time in just over a year, an execution date has been set for a DeSoto Parish child killer.
District Judge Robert Burgess on Monday set March 7 as the next date with death for Christopher Sepulvado, of Mansfield. If it’s carried out, the execution will fall one day shy of 22 years since the 69-year-old beat and scalded to death his stepson, Wesley Allen Mercer, 6.
Sepulvado’s attorneys already are mounting an appeal. A writ will be filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, attorney Gary Clements said Monday in an email to The Times.
Burgess took action on the new execution warrant after the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday issued a mandate reversing its previous injunction and stay of execution.
"Judge sets another execution date for child killer Christopher Sepulvado," is AP coverage, via the Tribune.
The federal appeals court in November overturned U.S. District Judge James Brady's ruling canceling Sepulvado's Feb. 13 execution. Burgess later set the death date for Nov. 5. But because a mandate had not been issued, that, too, was vacated by the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Brady's delay of the death sentence was at the request of Sepulvado's attorneys who contend the state had not provided information about the execution protocol and the single-dose drug that will be used. Another death row inmate, Jessie Hoffman, filed suit in December 2012 challenging the execution process, claiming it was "cruel and unusual punishment."
Sepulvado was allowed to intervene in the legal action in January 2013. His objection was based on a challenge to the constitutionality of executing a convicted prisoner without telling him the means and matter he will be killed.
Hoffman's lawsuit is continuing. Friday, the state filed a motion seeking to delay until March 3 the deadline to disclose witnesses who will testify related to his complaint. There is no mention of Sepulvado's case in the motion.
Earlier coverage of Christopher Sepulvado's case and the Louisiana lethal injection challenge begins at the link.