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Schwarzenegger Must Decide On Death For Convicted Killer

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger faces his first clemency petition from a condemned inmate who is begging to be spared from a February Tenth date with California´s execution chamber.

Defense attorneys and legal scholars are optimistic the new governor just might exercise his authority at some point during his tenure to grant clemency — a power that was shunned by the past two California governors.

Deciding whether to allow an execution to proceed or commute a death sentence to life without parole can be among the most agonizing moral and political challenges for a governor. But few expect the Republican Schwarzenegger to show mercy toward Kevin Cooper, who was convicted of hacking four people to death.