APPEALS court grants stay of execution for death row inmate

Tuesday, July 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A federal appeals court has delayed the Sept. 4 execution of a man convicted of killing a Tecumseh banker in 1983.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay Friday until the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to consider Alvie James Hale's latest appeal.

A Pottawatomie County jury convicted Hale, now 52, of kidnapping 24-year-old William Jeffrey Perry for ransom and shooting him to death.

Hale wants the Supreme Court to make the FBI turn over ``four (hundred) or five hundred pages (of investigative reports) possibly dealing with other suspects,'' his attorney, Gloyd McCoy of Oklahoma City, said Monday.

McCoy said he didn't know when the high court would make its decision on Hale's appeal.

Attorneys for the FBI responded 10 days ago to Hale's filing in Washington. Then Hale turned to the Denver-based appeals court, which granted his emergency request to not allow the execution to proceed on schedule.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals set the execution date two weeks ago.

``The execution date should never have been set,'' McCoy said.

The state court knew that Hale was pursuing relief that the Supreme Court would not have time to act on before Sept. 4 because the high court is on summer recess, McCoy said.

Hale, a former Shawnee bakery owner, was found guilty of kidnapping Perry Oct. 10, 1983, from his home. Perry's body was found less than two hours after Hale was arrested in Oklahoma City. Investigators recovered a $350,000 ransom payment from Hale's vehicle.

McCoy said the FBI's reports on the kidnapping and murder may show that someone other than Hale is responsible.

As early as 1989, the FBI refused to provide part of its reports to Hale's lawyers, claiming that they were confidential. Under the court order of a federal judge in Oklahoma City, the FBI then provided more of the reports.

Appeals continued for several years, but Hale's death sentence was affirmed and his effort to see the remaining withheld parts of the FBI reports was rejected.

Hale's clemency hearing before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board was set for Aug. 13. Perry's family had been preparing to attend.

``I guess that's what I was looking for, a little peace,'' Perry's mother, Joan Perry, said Monday of Hale's execution. ``I don't like that word closure because my son's death will be with me always.

``I'm a confused mother right now,'' she said.

Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Jennifer Miller doubted the FBI documents would contain anything that could reverse Hale's murder sentence.

Miller said she plans to petition the federal court for a special appearance and request that Hale's stay of execution be vacated.

``We're going to do everything within our power to make sure his sentence is carried out,'' Miller said.