Clemency is one way that those convicted of murder may avoid the death penalty in some states. This recently became an issue in Oklahoma when the Oklahoma Legislative Black Caucus raised concerns and requested the governor to grant a man convicted of murder clemency.
In this case, the man has been scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection on Nov. 18. He was sentenced to death in 1999 following a shooting that resulted in the death of another man. The shooting occurred while the named killer was attempting to steal the man’s vehicle. The victim’s sister and two daughters witnessed the incident.
Why would clemency be granted in a murder case?
In this situation, the criminal defense attorney for the man stated that the case was filled with doubts that warranted additional review. Some of the concerns included “junk science,” the use of public defenders who weren’t death-penalty trained and false identifications.
The man found guilty of the murder asserted that he had been innocent for over 20 years, making his case unique. He states that he was framed by another party who also played a role in the crime. Additionally, the Pardon and Parole Board did recommend commutation of his sentence to life with the possibility of parole.
The government didn’t act on the commutation recommendation and previously stated that a clemency hearing would be better.
Clemency could create an opportunity for the convicted murder to be released, though that is not the only option. The victim’s family, in this case, has spoken against commutation or clemency and still asserts that the man was the shooter. You’ll want to take time to learn more about the options that you have if you’re facing a similar fate to this defendant’s.