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Beaty Execution Delay Outrages Horne

PHOENIX (Wednesday, May 25, 2011)  --  Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says the U.S. Department of Justice is to blame for a last-minute technical objection that has delayed the execution of convicted child-killer Donald Beaty.

Horne added, “I am outraged that the Justice Department, having had the facts for many months, would wait literally until the day before a scheduled execution to file an objection over the proposed change in one of the drugs to be used to execute this killer. The use of pentobarbital instead of sodium thiopental has been approved by the courts and there is no legal disagreement that the second drug is appropriate for this purpose.”

He added, “The Justice Department has chosen to exercise its prosecutorial discretion to further delay the execution of this vile criminal. The question is, why? The federal government’s choice to cause these technical delays is a slap in the face to the Fornoff family. There is no question that Donald Beaty raped and murdered then 13-year old newspaper delivery girl Christy Fornoff, and there is no reason to make the Fornoff family endure even one more minute of pain before they know the man who murdered their child has paid the price for his evil crime.”

In 2005, the victim’s mother, Carol Fornoff, testified in Congress about the pain such delays have caused her family.  In part she said:

“…The court has turned this case into an open wound for our family, a wound that has not been allowed to heal…

…every time there is another appeal, another ruling, another hearing, I am forced to think about my daughter's death…

…Every time I am forced to think about how scared my little girl must have been when she died. …my family and I have forgiven our daughter's murderer, but we cannot forgive a justice system that would treat us this way.”

Horne concluded, “The federal government owes the Fornoff family an apology for adding to their grief.”