Sunday, January 15, 2012

Delaware: Recommendation for Mercy

The Repubic reports that the State Board of Pardons is recommending (by a 4-1 vote) that Gov. Jack Markell grant clemency to 49 year old Robert Gattis, who is facing execution for the 1990 murder of his former girlfriend. More specifically, the Board is recommending that Markell commute the death sentence to "life in prison without parole." It is also stipulated that Gattis will not seek further appeals or pardons. According to The Republic:
Gattis was sentenced to death in 1992 for the murder of Shirley Slay, 27, who was shot between the eyes at close range after years of physical abuse by Gattis. Prosecutors argued at trial that Gattis shot Slay execution-style in a fit of jealous rage, while Gattis maintained for years that her death was an accident.
It is said that Gattis was "victimized physically, emotionally, and sexually by family members" as a child and that there was "evidence" that he "complained to medical professionals of mental illness and involuntary violent impulses over a year before Ms. Slay's murder." Gattis has also told the board that he was sorry for killing Slay and that it was not an accident. He added, "I was an abuser. I stalked Shirley and eventually I killed her." But Gattis says he has changed and is "not the Robert Gattis who killed Shirley Slay." See more details of the case here.

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