PHOENIX -- A federal appeals court has declined to have a larger panel of judges consider an Arizona death-row inmate's appeal already turned down under a split ruling by a three-judge panel.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said its judges voted Wednesday against the rehearing request submitted on behalf of Richard Dale Stokley.
The 60-year-old Stokley is scheduled to be executed Dec. 5 for the murders of two teenage girls in rural Cochise County two decades ago.
Stokley's current lawyers argued that he's entitled to new proceedings on his claim that a previous attorney effectively abandoned him by not representing his interests early in the appeals process.
The appeals court on Nov. 15 denied Stokley's request for a hearing with a 2-1 ruling.