William Van Poyck execution scheduled for tonight for killing of prison guard Fred Griffis

It's a race against time as attorneys for William Van Poyck fight to stop his execution that's scheduled for Wednesday evening.

William Van Poyck was put on death row for killing a corrections officer back in 1988.

He is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 6pm unless the U.S Supreme Court grants a reprieve for him to stay.

Poyck's attorneys filed a 15 page brief with the courts on Monday, according to the Palm Beach Post.

His attorneys argued their client should not be executed for a murder he did not plan to committ and wasn't the trigger person.

Poyck and an accomplice tried to ambush a prison van outside a doctors office to free a convicted murderer. Prison guard Fred Griffis was shot and killed during the incident.

Poyck's attorneys outlined in the brief that three people in the last 25 years nationwide were put to death and didn't fire the fatal shot.

They want to use Poyck's case as an example.

Five of the nine justices must agree in order for Poyck to stay and serve a life sentence.

While attorneys work to save Poyck's life, Governor Rick Scott has one more week to sign a bill that would speed up executions.

The Timely Justice Act would require the Governor to sign a death warrant within 30 days after a prisoners appeals are exhausted and clemency review is complete.

Opponents believe Florida leads the nation with death row prisoners who are later proved innocent and supporters feel the death penalty process brings extra motions that delay the execution.

Dozens of Florida prisoners have been on death row for at least 20 years.


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