Apparently, the governor rejects about 84 percent of cases recommended to the governor by the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency are rejected each year. Over the last six years, only 53 cases out of 340 total have been approved by the governor. The result is an estimated $25.7 million dollars in revenue spent in order to house prisoners that the board has recommended for clemency.
Then, the part of the story we are particularly fond of:
The legislation comes in the wake of a controversy over the governor's refusal to commute a man's sentence despite the board's unanimous recommendation that he be released from prison. William Macumber (pictured above) is the first man in Arizona history to be unanimously recommended for clemency by the board without a DNA exoneration. Macumber first applied for clemency December 15, 2008. On August 25, 2009 the board unanimously recommended in a letter to the governor that he be released, partly because of his "extraordinary accomplishments" in prison but also because of the "substantial doubt that Mr. Macumber is guilty of the crime for which he was convicted."Indeed! See our coverage of Brewer's wildly inappropriate behavior here. See full story here.
That "substantial doubt" stems from the fact that his wife, who worked in the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office at the time of the murders, reported to her supervisors that he had "confessed" the crime to her -- a claim she made while they were going through a nasty divorce. Her son now believes that his mother framed his father, and so, apparently, does the parole board.
But Brewer didn't see it that way. In November 2009, she denied him clemency, but declined to elaborate.