Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Arkansas: Denials

On Monday, Gov. Mike Beebe (Arkansas- D) denied the clemency request of 67 year old blues musician Calvin Leavy, who is serving a 75-year sentence for drug and bribery offenses. Leavy was famous for such songs as "Cummins Prison Farm," "Free from Cummins Prison Farm," "Going to the Dogs," and "Is it Worth All That I'm Going Through?" He was convicted in 1992 as the first person charged under the state’s “drug kingpin law.” Last April, the Arkansas Parole Board recommended executive clemency for Leavy, who was originally sentenced to life plus 25 years in prison. In May 2000, then-Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his sentenced to 75 years. Another notable rejection was that of the application for Danny Edward Verdict, who has done maintenance work at the governor's mansion for the last nine years. Verdict was convicted in 1992 of first-degree murder after shooting his wife. Verdict writes, in his clemency applicaton, "I loved Marcella and never meant to hurt her." He was sentenced to life in prison, but was also recommended for clemency by the Parole Board. See story reported here.

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