More time sought for Miss. death row inmate appeal

JACKSON – An attorney says he needs more time to file appeals for Mississippi death row inmate Rodney Gray.

Glenn Swartzfager of the Mississippi Office of Post-Conviction Counsel filed papers this past Thursday asking the state Supreme Court not to set an April 27 execution date for Gray.

The execution date was requested by Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood.

Hood filed the request March 28, hours after the U.S. Supreme Court decided not hear Gray’s appeal. The justices did not give a reason.

Gray was sentenced to death in 1996 for the 1994 rape and murder of 79-year-old Grace Blackwell of Louin.

Swartzfager wrote that Gray’s previous attorney didn’t develop evidence of Gray’s “substantial brain dysfunction and traumatic childhood.” Swartzfager also wrote that Gray hasn’t had a thorough mental evaluation.

The Associated Press