Man asks high court to stay execution

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ATLANTA - A man convicted of killing three people two decades ago has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to delay his scheduled execution next week.

An attorney for John Washington Hightower, 63, said in a request for a stay filed with the high court that Tuesday's execution should be put on hold until another appeal of the case is heard.

The attorney, Jeffrey L. Ertel, wrote in the request that he has petitioned for another hearing to ask the high court to review a federal appeals court's denial of a previous appeal in the case.

Mr. Ertel did not immediately return a call Thursday seeking further comment.

In a response filed with the Supreme Court, the state Attorney General's Office argued that the execution should proceed as scheduled, saying there is no basis for a stay.

There was no immediate decision by the high court on the request for the stay, which was filed Wednesday. A separate clemency hearing before the Georgia parole board is scheduled for Monday in Atlanta.

Mr. Hightower's execution for the July 12, 1987, slayings of his wife, Dorothy Hightower, and his two stepdaughters, Evelyn Reaves and Sandra Reaves, at a home in Milledgeville, in central Georgia, was set after previous appeals failed.

If carried out, the execution would be Georgia's first in nearly two years.

Among the evidence investigators said they had against Mr. Hightower: a confession and a flesh- and blood-covered murder weapon found in the car he was driving when he was arrested. His clothes also were stained with blood.

According to authorities, Mr. Hightower admitted he had been having marital problems.

In the admission, he said he had been drinking and snorting cocaine hours before he entered the home where the victims were, placed a gun under a pillow in the room he shared with his wife and waited for everyone to go to sleep.

At about 3 a.m., police say, Mr. Hightower retrieved the gun and shot each of the three victims in the head.

A 3-year-old girl in the house was found unharmed.

Mr. Hightower was arrested about 90 minutes after the shootings while driving his wife's car.

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hepher
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hepher 06/22/07 - 04:45 am
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I resent the fact that the

I resent the fact that the tax payers have had to support this man for the past twenty years it is time for us to stop paying for his crime.

pantherluvcik
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pantherluvcik 06/22/07 - 05:25 am
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What a coward, he waited for

What a coward, he waited for them to go to sleep? Well now it's time for him to go to sleep, permanently.

Reality
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Reality 06/22/07 - 05:31 am
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How much money was spent on

How much money was spent on him over the past 20 years? Our justice system leaves a lot to be desired.

zzzman
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zzzman 06/22/07 - 08:46 am
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AAAHHHH,poor man,20 years

AAAHHHH,poor man,20 years wasn't a long enough stay?GET REAL!!! they just need to "HOT" wire his cells toilet seat and be done with it.While they're at it ,run a wire to his lawyers ankle too....

MyOpinion1
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MyOpinion1 06/22/07 - 12:28 pm
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Request for a stay come on

Request for a stay come on now. This man murdered three people and left a 3 year old without a mother. I guess he wants us to feel sorry for him. I agree with hepher and pantherluvcik, yes it is time for us to stop paying for his crime and he is a coward. What a shame!!!!!!!!!!!

zzzman
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zzzman 06/22/07 - 02:30 pm
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He has the right to a speedy

He has the right to a speedy trial, why don't we have the right to a speedy execution? We still have to pay for his burial too.

sexy brownsugar
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sexy brownsugar 06/22/07 - 07:34 pm
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why do he feel like he need

why do he feel like he need more time,put his [filtered word] to sleep like he put those people to sleep.Now that poor child can be at peace,and live her life knowing that justice was done.No one don't deserve to die like that,not even a dog and I don't like dogs but I wont hurt one.I can't believe this made paper,if anything tell us how he beg and cried to stay a live and then they pull the switch on him ha ha ha ha die

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