Stephen Michael West: US appeals court rules against TN inmate facing execution

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled against a Tennessee death row inmate’s challenge as he nears his execution date next week.

On Tuesday, a 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss Stephen West’s challenge of Tennessee’s lethal injection protocol.

RELATED: Facing execution, East Tennessee’s Stephen Michael West says he wasn’t a killer

West was found guilty of the 1986 kidnapping and stabbing deaths of 51-year-old Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines, and of raping the teen. He was 23 at the time.

West is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Aug. 15.

RELATED: ‘Why it lasted 33 years? I can’t understand that.’ Family of victims nearing set execution date

The 56-year-old inmate has asked Republican Gov. Bill Lee for clemency to spare his life, claiming his then-17-year-old accomplice killed both women. The accomplice is serving a life sentence with parole possible in 2030.

West’s clemency application also says he suffers from mental illness.

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