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Condemned Murderers Latham and York Granted Stay of Execution

June 19, 1963 - Two condemned killers, James Douglas Latham and George Ronald York (pictured in 1961), were granted a last-minute stay of execution today just after they had ordered their last meal and had flipped a coin to determine which should be hanged first. They were under sentence to be hanged after midnight for the slaying of Otto Ziegler, 62-year-old Oakley, Kan., railroad man, one of seven persons they murdered in a cross-country crime orgy in 1961. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit at Denver stayed the execution for 30 days after hearing a plea by Roy Cook, attorney for the killers, that their constitutional rights had been violated because they were denied court-appointed counsel at their preliminary hearing. He also contended that through lack of counsel, they had lost the opportunity to enter a guilty plea and obtain a life sentence rather than the death penalty.


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