A death row inmate who has been diagnosed as terminally ill will still be executed next week.
Jimmy Dale Bland, 49, was convicted of the Nov. 14, 1996, murder of 62-year-old Doyle Windle Rains. Bland's execution is set for Tuesday.
A split Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals today denied a stay of Bland's execution on several grounds, including his condition. By a 3-2 vote, the court ruled Bland's illness should not impede his punishment.
"(Bland's) illness does not lessen his culpability for his crime or obviate his legally imposed punishment of death," the court wrote. "Neither does his illness lessen the retributive or deterrent purposes of the death penalty."
However, Judge Charles Chapel strongly dissented from the court's majority opinion.
"I conclude that it violates both the United States Constitution and the Oklahoma Constitution to execute a man who is terminally ill, such that he is expected to die of natural causes within a matter of months," Chapel wrote. "I conclude that it is both cruel and unusual to execute such a person and that this Court should not permit this unnecessary execution to proceed."
Judge David Lewis also dissented. "Scott Cooper