Ariz. inmate set for execution to ask for mercy

July 14, 2011 - 5:59 AM

FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona death-row inmate convicted of fatally beating a man is asking the state's clemency board for mercy.

Fifty-two-year-old Thomas Paul West is expected to address the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency at a hearing Thursday at the state prison in Florence.

West will argue that sexual abuse as a child by three different men forever changed him and led to his post-traumatic stress disorder.

The board can recommend to Gov. Jan Brewer that West's sentence be reduced to life in prison, delayed for a valid reason or that it should proceed as planned.

West is set to be executed on Tuesday, almost exactly 24 years after he beat Donald Bortle to death while robbing his home just outside Tucson.

Bortle's decomposing body was found in a closet on July 17, 1987, with his hands tied behind his back and covered in blood.

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Online: Arizona's death row: http://www.azcorrections.gov/inmate_datasearch/newDeathRow.aspx

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