Supreme Court ruling removes possible barrier to Sequim man’s execution

PORT ANGELES — A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that executions by lethal injection are not cruel and unusual punishment removes one potential barrier to the execution of a death row inmate from Sequim, legal experts say.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a Kentucky case in a 7-2 opinion Tuesday that lethal injection results in a painless death, if administered as intended. (Click on AP News at left for Associated Press coverage of the justices’ ruling.)

“If it had gone the other way, people might have appealed based upon it, since lethal injection is the primary form of administering the death penalty in this state,” said Janelle Guthrie, spokeswoman for the state Attorney General’s Office.

Darold R.J. Stenson, 55, was convicted of aggravated first degree murder in the March 25, 1993, shooting deaths of his wife, Denise Stenson, and their friend Frank Hoerner at the Stensons’ Sequim-area exotic bird ranch.

He is on death row in Walla Walla, where a total of eight await execution.

Stenson has a May 15 execution date, but he has not exhausted all his appeals.

His execution has been stayed pending a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state expects to hear from the court in October whether the case will be taken up.

Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney Deb Kelly said Wednesday that she hadn’t reviewed the ruling issued Tuesday, but that it probably would remove one possible barrier to Stenson’s execution.

“I haven’t seen the case, but it certainly sounds like it would assist in clearing the way for Mr. Stenson’s execution,” she said.

“I would have to review it, but I assume that that would make it easier.”

More in News

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe celebrates library opening

Chairman/CEO: New facility is ‘second to none’

Solar array, battery storage to be installed on Port Angeles Senior Center

System could provide hours of backup power in case of an outage

UPDATE: Power restored between Sequim, Port Angeles

A tree has been removed from a Clallam County PUD… Continue reading

Road work to close Quinault Loop

Work crews from Haztech Drilling will begin geotechnical drilling… Continue reading

Fiber gathering Thursday at Studio Bob

Marva Holmes will host “St*tch & B*tch” at 4:30… Continue reading

Dream Playground to be fully covered by insurance

Donations still will be used in May rebuild

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual Shipwrights Regatta on Port Townsend Bay on Saturday. More of a fun event than a sailing competition, awards are given out during a pizza party afterward for the most navigationally challenged (Directional Helmet trophy) and for the “saltiest” boat and crew. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Shipwrights Regatta

About 30 sailboats compete in the Port Townsend Sailing Association’s 33rd annual… Continue reading

The City of Sequim hosts 13 manufactured home/mobile home parks with 596 existing units and 786 approved dwelling units. City staff continue to look into zoning options that could protect these sites from redevelopment to help protect affordable housing options in the city. (City of Sequim)
Sequim extends its mobile home moratorium

City staff to work preserving manufactured housing option

Olympic Medical Center chief outlines efforts at improvements

Decreased number of travelers among them

Jay and Trudi Inslee wear red for #WearRedDay to support women’s heart health in 2022. (Jay Inslee)
Gov. Inslee reflects in his final year of three terms

On the second level of the white and gray marbled… Continue reading

Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer as coworker Robert Bufford prepares to secure the load as the pair prepares to open the parking lot at Port Angeles City Pier to automobiles on Friday. The work was part of a project to improve storm drainage, replace damaged sidewalks and ADA ramps and mitigate shoreline erosion around the lot, which had been closed since early January. Tree replacement and other project detail work is expected to follow over the next few weeks.
City Pier parking open

Chris Johnson of Nordland-based Nordland Construction loads traffic drums onto a trailer… Continue reading

Sequim Citizen of the Year luncheon on Tuesday

Emiko Brock, Labbe, Olsen to be honored