In a clemency plea, West said his then 17-year-old accomplice, Ronnie Martin, actually killed both victims. West was 23 at the time. Their cases were separated, and West was sentenced to death. Martin pleaded guilty as a juvenile and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 2030.
The clemency plea says West has been taking powerful medication to treat mental illness in prison.
Tennessee inmate Stephen West is on death watch in anticipation of his lethal injection Thursday.
State corrections officials said Tuesday that inmates on death watch are placed in a cell next to the execution chamber where they’re under 24-hour surveillance.
Visits are non-contact until the day before the execution, when the warden will decide whether the 56-year-old West can have a contact visit.
West was convicted of the 1986 kidnapping and stabbing deaths of a mother and her 15-year-old daughter, and of raping the teen. West has denied he’s a killer, saying his then-17-year-old accomplice killed both. The co-defendant received a life sentence, with parole possible in 2030.
Gov. Bill Lee hasn’t decided on clemency. He told reporters Monday he trusts the criminal justice process that made a determination years ago in West’s case.