Tarver files another petition

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 11, 2000

to stop Friday’s execution

Staff Report

A Brundidge man scheduled to die in Alabama’s electric chair this week has filed a petition to stop the execution.

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Robert Lee Tarver Jr., 52, is scheduled to be executed at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

Tarver was first scheduled to be executed on Feb. 4. Just hours before his execution, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Tarver a stay based on his challenge the "antiquated" electric chair violates his Eighth Amendment right and is "cruel and unusual punishment." In that claim, Tarver maintained the electric chair had a risk of "excessive burning, disfigurement and…pain and suffering."

The high court rejected that challenge 5-4, leaving the Alabama Supreme Court to set a new execution date.

Once again, Tarver’s attorney has filed a petition to stop the execution.

In a petition filed Friday, Tarver claims prosecutors discriminated against blacks in the jury selection process because only one black woman was on the jury that convicted Tarver. Circuit Court Judge George Greene will review the petition.

Tarver was convicted of capital murder by a Russell County jury in the 1984 shooting death of Cottonton store owner Hugh Kite. That jury voted 7-5 to give him life without parole, but Tarver was sentenced to death by Circuit Judge Wayne Johnson.