Local News

New Execution Date Set for Robert Bacon Jr.

Posted August 16, 2001

— A new execution date has been set for an inmate who had challenged the authority of the governor to hold clemency proceedings, the state said Thursday.

Robert Bacon Jr. is scheduled to be executed Sept. 21 for the 1987 murder of his lover's husband in Onslow County.

Bacon's execution was halted by the state Supreme Court the day before it was to take place after attorneys representing Bacon and others challenged Easley's clemency authority. The lawyers said the governor was biased because he had advocated capital punishment as a prosecutor and attorney general.

The court earlier this month affirmed Easley's constitutional authority to grant clemency.

Bacon's attorneys argued that Easley can't conduct a fair clemency hearing because he sought the death penalty as a prosecutor in the 1980s and, as attorney general for eight years until January, was the attorney of record fighting appeals by death row prisoners.

The lawsuit contends more than 100 prisoners are affected by Easley's position as present governor and past state's attorney.

Easley had held a clemency hearing before Bacon's execution date in May, but had not announced a decision.

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