Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brewer Can't Be Bothered with Imprisoned Innocent Man

As readers of this blog are aware, one of the most disturbing / controversial  state clemency matters is floating just beneath the daily news on Arizona's immigration law. The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency (a body selected by the governor)recently considered the case of one William Macumber and unanimously recommended clemency. Governor Jan Brewer, however, rejected the Board's recommendation without providing Macumber, or any member of the Board, anything like an explanation. Amazingly enough, the Board's recommendation was NOT on the basis of rehabilitation. The Board believes Macumber is innocent of the crime for which he has been imprisoned for more than 30 years.

But (1) the Board's rare favorable recommendation, (2) the lengthy imprisonment and (3) the freakish and highly disturbing suggestion of actual innocence have not been nearly enough for Brewer to muster up the courtesy of an explanation for her decision. It appears that the only thing that will make Brewer move at all is the potential for public attention which might come as the result of media inquiry. And it is perfectly clear from a summary of such inquiries (below), that Brewer feels it is a great unnecessary pain to have to explain herself in a matter of such little import to her!

pre-May 19 - Refused to meet with reporters, blew off appointments and cancelled related interviews

May 19 (to CBS5 reporter): "It's a very personal issue. It's a legal matter.At this particular time, I prefer not to comment."

June 14 (to New York Times via spokesman): "Every executive clemency case is carefully scrutinized as the governor balances the very real and important concepts of public safety, justice and mercy."

July 12 (to Channel 9, via spokesman): "Her thorough deliberation process takes into account all facts presented to her.... In Mr. Macumber's case, this review included statements from Mr. Macumber, attorneys, witnesses, law enforcement officers, victims and trial transcripts from both jury trials which convicted him of murder."

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