PHOENIX - An Arizona inmate set to be executed this month for killing a Tucson college student after robbing him in 1992 has declined to seek mercy from the state's clemency board.
Thomas Arnold Kemp, 63, is set to be executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence on April 25.
Daisy Kirkpatrick, an administrative assistant at the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, told The Associated Press on Monday that Kemp recently declined to petition the board for a lighter sentence.
Kemp's Tucson attorney, Tim Gabrielsen, did not immediately return a call for comment.
Every inmate executed in Arizona has the right to petition the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency to either reduce their sentence to life in prison or delay their execution for more legal wrangling.
No inmates in recent history have declined to seek mercy from the board.
This is not the first time Kemp has refused to argue for leniency for himself.
During his sentencing trial two decades ago, Kemp was supposed to explain to the court why he didn't deserve the death penalty. Instead, he expressed his contempt for his victims, reporters who wrote about the story and the prosecutors on his case.
"I don't show any mercy, and I am certainly not here to plead for mercy," he said. "I spit on the law and all those who serve it."
Kemp was sentenced to death for kidnapping 25-year-old Hector Soto Juarez from outside his Tucson apartment on July 11, 1992, and robbing him before taking him into a desert area, forcing him to undress and shooting him twice in the head.
Juarez had just left his apartment and fiancee to get food when Kemp and Jeffery Logan spotted him. They held him at gunpoint and used his debit card to withdraw $200 before driving him to the Silverbell Mine area near Marana, where Kemp killed Juarez.
The two men then went to Flagstaff, where they kidnapped a married couple traveling from California to Kansas and made them drive to Durango, Colo., where Kemp raped the man in a hotel room. Later, Kemp and Logan forced the couple to drive to Denver, where they escaped. Logan soon after separated from Kemp and called police about Juarez's murder.
Logan led police to Juarez's body, and Kemp was arrested.
Kemp has argued that his conviction was unfair because then-prosecutor Kenneth Peasley repeatedly told jurors that Kemp's homosexuality was behind Juarez's kidnapping and murder, and that the jury hadn't been properly vetted for their feelings about gay men.
Kemp told the judge just before he was sentenced that he should have killed Logan when he had the chance and that he had no regrets.
"The so-called victim was not an American citizen and, therefore, was beneath my contempt," he said and then referred to Juarez using a racial slur for Mexicans. "If more of them ended up dead, the rest of them would soon learn to stay in Mexico where they belong."
Copyright Associated Press
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