Death row inmate sues Indiana, seeking to halt executions

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A man sentenced to death for the 2001 rape and murder of a 15-year-old southern Indiana girl is suing the state, seeking to stop it from performing executions.

The lawsuit filed this month in LaPorte County on behalf of 46-year-old Roy Lee Ward seeks an injunction halting capital punishment and a court ruling that the death penalty violates Indiana’s constitution.

It names as defendants Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Correction’s commissioner.

Indiana hasn’t executed an inmate since 2009.

Ward is on death row at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City. He was sentenced to death in 2007 for the July 2001 rape and murder of Stacy Payne.

Authorities say Ward stabbed Payne to death in her family’s home near Dale, about 30 miles east of Evansville.

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