SAN FRANCISCO — Death row inmate Stephen Wayne Anderson lost another round Thursday in his legal battle to stay alive.
Anderson, 48, is scheduled to be executed early Tuesday. He has asked Gov. Gray Davis for clemency, but at the same time has asked the courts to take the decision away from Davis.
Anderson’s attorneys say Davis is biased and is sure to reject the clemency request, which would commute his sentence from death to life in prison without parole.
A federal judge turned down Anderson’s claim last week. That decision was upheld Thursday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The appellate court said Anderson didn’t show that Davis can’t be fair.
Anderson was sentenced to die for shooting 81-year-old Elizabeth Lyman in her Southern California home in 1980. Prosecutors said Anderson broke in, shot Lyman and then watched television in her living room and made himself a meal in her kitchen.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker said the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee clemency reviews for inmates. Because of that, whether Davis is biased against murderers is immaterial, Walker ruled in declining to order Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante to review the clemency petition.
Davis has not yet released his decision on Anderson’s request for clemency. His spokesman, Byron Tucker, said the case will be decided “solely on merit.”
The governor has rejected all three previous clemency petitions from death row inmates since he took office three years ago.
In his clemency petition, Anderson claims he had inadequate legal representation and that the victim’s family opposes his execution.
The case is Anderson v. Davis 02-70109.