PHOENIX (AP) - The state clemency board is set to hear a final plea for mercy Wednesday from a death row inmate set for execution next week.
The hearing at the state prison in Florence comes as a federal judge weighs a request from 71-year-old Edward Schad's lawyers to temporarily block the execution. They're trying to prove that Gov. Jan Brewer's office interfered with Arizona Board of Executive Clemency members by removing them from office when they vote for clemency in high-profile cases.
A state lawyer argued at a hearing Tuesday that current board members are impartial and urged U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver to deny the request.
If the board votes to grant clemency, the recommendation then goes to Brewer.
Schad was convicted in the 1978 killing of a Bisbee man.