Attorney: Convicted Killer Should Be Spared for Psychological Study

Death row inmate Mark Dean Schwab is a "scientific mystery" who should be spared execution so he can be further studied to prevent other pedophiles from raping and killing children, his attorney said in a motion for clemency.

Schwab, 38, was sentenced to death for the 1991 kidnapping, rape and murder 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez of Cocoa. Schwab, who had recently been released from prison for raping another child, targeted Junny after seeing his picture in a newspaper.

"As long as he's alive he is available for psychological research, examinations and evaluations, which could in the future prevent a person from becoming so fully mis-oriented as to commit a crime that Mr. Schwab stands guilty of today," Titusville attorney Kenneth Studstill wrote in a petition to be reviewed by the Office of Executive Clemency.

Studstill wants Schwab's death sentence commuted to life in prison. Studstill did not immediately return a phone message left at his law office on Sunday.

Junny's family plans to urge Gov. Charlie Crist in September to carry out the death sentence. No death warrants have been signed in Florida since the Dec. 13 execution of Angel Diaz, 55, took twice as long as usual.

Vicki Rios-Martinez, Junny's mother, said the attorney's plea is a sign Schwab is running out of appeals.

"What else can they ask for?" she said. "Where else can they go?"

State Attorney Norman Wolfinger said Schwab can still serve science in death.

"We have sharks and whales wash up on the beach all the time and scientists can study them," he said. "I have no objection if they want to study him after he receives his injection."