BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The November execution of a man on Idaho’s death row was delayed on Wednesday because the state’s parole board has granted a hearing to consider changing his sentence to life in prison.
An Idaho judge last week issued a death warrant for Thomas Creech, the state’s longest-serving death row inmate. Creech was convicted of killing two people in Valley County in 1974 and sentenced to death. After an appeal, however, that sentence was reduced to life in prison.
Less than 10 years later, he was convicted of beating another man in custody, David Jensen, to death with a sock full of batteries. Creech was sentenced to death for that crime in 1983.
After the death warrant was issued last week, the Idaho Department of Correction had said Creech would be executed by lethal injection on Nov. 8 and said they already had the necessary chemicals.
Creech’s attorneys with the nonprofit Federal Defender Services of Idaho petitioned the parole board to schedule the sentence review hearing. In their 256-page filing, they argued that Creech, 73, should be allowed to live out his days in prison and die of natural causes, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The board hasn’t yet scheduled a hearing date.
A spokesperson for the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office, which pursued Creech’s death warrant, declined to comment to the newspaper on Wednesday.
In the clemency hearing petition, Creech described himself as a “devout Christian” and apologized to the family of the man he killed in prison for the pain he caused them. He said he was remorseful for all of his crimes, according to the petition.