Thursday, January 10, 2008

Arkansas: Request

The Arkansas State Parole Board has decided that Heath Stocks’ request for a commutation of his sentence is “without merit,” so his bid for clemency is now in the hands of Gov. Mike Beebe (D). Stocks is serving life in prison without parole for the 1997 murder of his father, mother and sister. The Parole Board only makes non-binding recommendations to Beebe. Much of Stocks' argument for clemency is based on the abuse he suffered as a youth at the hands of a scoutmaster. Stocks claims conflicts of interest, political agendas, personal feelings and professional connections prevented pertinent information from being presented in his defense although he admitted to the Jan. 17, 1997, shootings. More specifically, Stocks claims the scoutmaster's father, a former circuit judge, was instrumental in blocking such information. A call for reconsideration of Stocks' circumstances was supported in a letter from the special prosecutor in the scoutmaster's case. Stocks closed his the application with a plea:“I have more remorse and guilt than words can express .… What I ask you to do is to not just see the end result, but what was done along the way.” Read more about this story in the Carlisle Independent, here.

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