Today, four members of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency - Jesse Hernandez, Brian Livingston, Ellen Kirschbaum and Melvin Thomas, voted unanimously to kill Daniel Wayne Cook next Wednesday. This was no surprise to anyone; last year, as I reported, a mostly-different lineup voted to kill him, even though one of the ones who voted that way, Jack Lasota, admitted that Cook was now “a much better man” than the one who had been sentenced to death for a double-murder. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, granted a stay of execution.
Since then, three board members have been replaced by pro-execution zealots hand-picked by Governor Jan Brewer. All four who voted today were appointed by her. In the unlikely event that they had voted for a stay, Brewer would certainly have vetoed it - but there was never any doubt that she wouldn’t have to.