PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona death row inmate convicted of murdering two teen-age girls in rural Cochise County two decades ago is a step closer to being executed.
A federal appeals court panel's 2-1 ruling Thursday night denies Richard Dale Stokley's request for a hearing on his claim that he received ineffective legal representation early in the appeals process.
Stokley is scheduled to be executed Dec. 5 for the 1991 killings of two 13-year-old girls who were raped and strangled.
A current lawyer for Stokley says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will be asked to reconsider the panel's ruling and that an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is also possible.
Stokley has already said he won't ask a state board for clemency because such a request would be futile.
Follow this story: Dec. 5 execution warrant for an Arizona inmate
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