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Cardinal: Pope's Following Looming Execution Case In Texas

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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Vienna's cardinal says he is in touch with a man condemned to die in Texas, and that Pope Francis is following the case, too.

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said Monday that he has been in close touch with Richard Masterson, scheduled to be executed on Tuesday. Masterson was convicted of strangling a man who was a female impersonator. Attorneys for Masterson have contended his earlier lawyers were deficient and that his confession about the death of Darin Shane Honeycutt, who went by the stage name of Brandi Houston, was improper.

The cardinal mentioned the case while speaking at the Vatican about church initiatives to promote mercy, a quality Francis has been stressing.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review Masterson's appeal in the 2001 slaying.

(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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