IDAHO – Out of appeals; death row inmate learns of execution date-Richard Leavitt

May 17, 2012 Source :

BOISE — On Thursday at around 4:00 p.m., Idaho death row inmate Richard Leavitt was served his official death warrant. He is set to be executed by lethal injection, June 12th. 

In just seven months, Idaho will have two executions. 

53-year-old, Richard Leavitt has been behind bars since 1985 for the murder of an eastern Idaho woman.  Leavitt was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder and mutilation of 31-year-old Danette Elg of Blackfoot. 

A 7th District Court judge signed the death warrant early Thursday; Leavitt was moved to an isolation cell at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution, which is policy.

Years of appeals followed the murder conviction. Attorneys claimed Leavitt suffered a brain injury which made him unstable at the time of the murder.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear his final appeal. The Idaho Attorney General’s office says Leavitt came to the end of his road of appeals.

“It takes a long time for justice to be done in a capital case,” said LaMont Anderson with the Idaho Attorney General’s office. “But at the same time we can’t be too speedy because we do want to make sure that it is justice that is done and that we are doing the right thing in these cases.”

In July of 1984, Elg was found stabbed 15 times and her body was sexually mutilated. Police said the two were acquainted and even days before her murder, Elg reported Leavitt was prowling around her Blackfoot home.

Upon her disappearance, Leavitt expressed concern to police, so much concern; police records indicated he was allowed to enter Elg’s home with police where her body was found.

14 people are now on Idaho’s death row, including Leavitt.

Paul Rhoades was put to death in November of last year, for the 1987 murders of two women. Until that execution, Idaho had not carried out the death penalty since 1994.

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