Virginia Religious Leaders Oppose Execution

Apr 10, 2017

Ivan Teleguz
Credit law enforcement

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Council of Churches is urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt the execution of an inmate convicted of hiring a man to kill his ex-girlfriend.

The group plans to deliver a letter to McAuliffe Monday asking him to spare 38-year-old Ivan Teleguz's life.

Teleguz is scheduled to be executed on April 25. He was convicted in 2006 of hiring a man to kill Stephanie Sipe in Harrisonburg.

Teleguz's attorneys filed a clemency petition with McAuliffe on Friday. Teleguz maintains his innocence, and since his trial, two key prosecution witnesses have recanted.

Rev. Jon Barton is the Virginia Council of Church's general minister. He says there are "significant reasons to doubt the evidence used to convict Teleguz." He says "no one should be killed under such circumstances."