Showing posts with label rejection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rejection. Show all posts

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Arkansas: Rejection

The State Parole Board has rejected the clemency request of Deanna Bobo, a former teacher who was convicted on two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a 14-year old teenage student. It appears that Bobo, who is serving a 12-year sentence has admitted, for the first time that she had sex with the teenage boy. It is explained, however, that the activity occurred “after school hours and away from school grounds.” See story here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oregon: Rejection

Gov. Ted Kulongoski has denied David Black's petition for clemency. Black received a mandatory minimum sentence (of more than six years) from a judge after being convicted of manslaughter during a "drag racing" incident. The result was the death of two teen aged girls but a co-defendant received a sentence of a mere six months. Prosecutors say Black, who maintained his innocence before the judge, is not taking responsibility for his crime. Read more about the case here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Remembering Hunt's Search for Clemency

The FBI has released 167 pages of E. Howard Hunt's file as a result of a FOIA request by the Associated Press. Hunt worked for the CIA for more than two decades but made his mark in history by planning the Watergate break-in and serving 33 months in prison. It is reported that the "vast majority" of the file "relates to Hunt's request for a presidential pardon from President Ronald Reagan in 1981." In his application, Hunt said he had acted on what he "believed" to be "executive authorization delegated to the then Attorney General." He also argued that he was worthy of clemency because of his age, service to the country and his testimony against John Mitchell and John Ehrlichman. The request was denied. See story here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Georgia: Rejection

The Macon Telegraph reports that the State's Board of Pardons and Paroles has rejected the clemency application of William Mark Mize, a "white supremacist" who is to be executed next week. Almost fifteen years ago, Mize shot and killed one Eddie Tucker, who was attempting to become a member of the National Vastilian Aryan Party. Mize's lawyers have complained that the State introduced "inflammatory, irrelevant evidence" about their client's racist beliefs in order to prejudice the jury. See story here.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Michigan: Denied

The Detroit Metro Times reports Gov. Jennifer Granholm has denied a request for clemency from Frederick Freeman, who is serving a life sentence for a 1986 murder. Although there was one eye-witness, no physical evidence tied Freeman to the murder scene. He did, however, confess to a "jailhouse snitch." Later, the "snitch" admitted to collusion with prosecutors and recanted his contribution to the case before his own death. On top of all of that, Freeman's defense attorney was later censured for the use of cocaine. Critics are looking for remorse from Freeman. But he insists he cannot show remorse for something he did not do. See story here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Georgia: Rejection

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the State Board of Pardons and Paroles has denied the clemency application of Robert Newland, who will be put to death this evening. Newland was convicted of the 1986 murder of a neighbor who refused his sexual advances. He used a knife in the killing and was drunk at the time. See story here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Ohio: Rejection

The eight-member Ohio Parole Board has unanimously refused the clemency application of Brett Hartmann, who is scheduled to be executed on April 7. Hartmann's attorneys complain that the State should be "a whole lot more sure" about his client's guilt before anything like an execution takes place. They also want more time for DNA testing of hairs, a condom and a mop that may have been used to clean up evidence. The murder victim was stabbed more than 100 times and her hands were completely removed. Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh praised the Board for its decision and noted Hartmann is not accepting responsibility for his actions or expressing remorse. See story here.

Michigan: Denial

The Daily Reporter informs us that Donald Lewis has been denied pardon by Governor Jennifer Granholm. The 70-year-old Lewis, who is said to have "serious health problems," is imprisoned for a 1985 murder . See story here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Louisiana: Rejection

Douglas “Swede” Dennis appeared before the five-member State Pardon Board earlier this month. Dennis is currently serving two life-sentences in the penitentiary for the 1957 "stomping death" of an IRS employee who was thrown into a jail's "drunk tank" with Dennis and the 1964 fatal stabbing of a fellow inmate who, according to Dennis, was threatening him. Dennis also escaped and was a fugitive (albeit law-abiding citizen) from 1979 to 1989.

Now, Dennis is 73-years old and he has experienced triple-bypass heart surgery. He also writes for a prison magazine and has co-edited a criminal justice textbook. A retired warden and a retired FBI agent supported his application for a commutation of sentence. But the request was denied by a unanimous vote. See story here.

North Dakota: Another Bush Denial

While the news of denials of high profile clemency applications is dripping out, former state Republican leader John T. Korsmo has announced that his application for a presidential pardon was also rejected. WDAY AM 970 reports Korsmo "pleaded guilty in 2005 to federal charges of lying about his role in a Washington, D.C. fundraiser that took place three years earlier, while he was chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board." Korsmo got 18-months of probation and a $5,000 fine. See story here.

The President: Denied!

While there is no shortage of articles floating around out there about persons who applied for a presidential pardon and failed to get one, this article by Josh Meyer takes the time to focus on clamency applications which were explicitly denied by President Bush. Among the denials were Randall ``Duke'' Cunningham, Edwin Edwards, Mario Biaggi, Michael Milken, John Walker Lindh, Justin Volpe, Leonard Peltier. Meyer notes:
Such denials can be a serious setback for those intent on clemency. After a denial a petitioner must wait two years to re-apply for a pardon and one year for a commutation of a prison sentence, although they can also circumvent the Justice Department and appeal directly to the White House whenever they want. In some cases, a presidential denial can be a setback in other ways as well, and make it harder politically for the next administration to approve it, according to several current and former administration officials involved in the pardon process.
The last thought seems a stretch, especially when there is a change in the partisan identification of the president. Nonetheless, it seem fair to say that these denials should be part of any analysis of President Bush's record on federal executive clemency.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Louisiana: Rejection

WBRZ reports 73-year old Douglas B. “Swede” Dennis wields a clemency petition with "unqualified" support from a former warden, a retired FBI agent and others. But the State's Pardon Board unanimously denied the request. Dennis is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the 1957. In 1964, he received a second life sentence for the fatal stabbing of an inmate. He also escaped, in 1979, and was a fugitive for 10 years. But his attorney sought a commutation of the two life sentences to 70 years, which would make Dennis eligible for parole. See story here

Friday, January 9, 2009

California: Rejection

The Star Telegram is featuring an interesting story on 65-year old California winemaker Fred T. Franzia who was seeking a presidential pardon. Franzia paid a $500,000 fine and served five years on probation for a grape fraud case, but the Justice Department rejected his pardon application on December 23. The Star Telegram argues, however, that his "aggressive" 23-page pardon application "offers a case study in how some try to navigate the pardon process." Franzia is reported to have "rallied congressional support for his pardon bid." He also hired "one of the nation's most experienced clemency attorneys" and "one of his champions called President George W. Bush's top lawyer to press the case." See story here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Oklahoma: Rejection

KTEN 10 reports that the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has unanimously denied clemency to 31-year old Darwin Brown, who is scheduled to be executed by injection on Jan. 22. Brown acknowledges his role in a 1995 murder and begged the Board to spare his life. But family members of the victim also urged the Board to deny clemency. See story here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Arkansas: Rejection

KTHV reports the State's Parole Board, in a 5-0 vote, has rejected a clemency request by 29-year-old Richard Cox who is serving a life sentence for a killing he committed when he was 16-years old. The facts of his case were summarized in a court opinion as follows:
In the early morning hours of May 18, 1996, Kingrale Collins, who was in his twenties, and Cox, who was age sixteen at the time, went to Collins's house in Wynne and got Collins's 12 gauge pump shotgun and shotgun shells. The handle of the shotgun was taped with gray tape. Cox carried the shotgun until the two young men crossed the railroad tracks when he handed it to Collins. Cox said that Collins told him he was "going to get some money" that was owed him. Cox and Collins first stopped at a house trailer and knocked on the door. No one answered, and they left.

According to Cox, Collins then stopped at two more residences by himself, a white house and an apartment complex, and knocked on the doors, while Cox watched from a distance. Two witnesses for the State, Charlotte Archer and Greg Wilson, confirmed that they had heard knocks on their doors during this time period. Ms. Archer testified that she looked through a window and saw two young black males standing at her door. She did not answer the door. Greg Wilson testifiedthat at about 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. he heard someone beating on his door. He went to the door, and no one was there. Later, he heard shots and went out to his porch where he saw "two guys" running down the street with a shotgun.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ohio: Clemency Denied

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Governor Ted Strickland has denied the clemency request of convicted killer Gregory Bryant-Bey, who is scheduled to be executed tomorrow morning. Says the Dispatch:
Strickland release [sic] a statement indicating he had reviewed and rejected Bryant-Bey's request that his life be spared. The governor did not explain his reasoning.
See story here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kentucky: Rejection

WTVQ reports Governor Steve Beshear has declined a request for clemency for Marco Chapman who has admitted to killing two children in 2004. Chapman says he wants to die and is not attempting to delay or escape execution. The execution is planned for this Friday. See report here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Arkansas: 10 Pardons, A Notable Rejection

On Friday, Governor Mike Beebe rejected a clemency request of 54-year old Ruth Della Sumlin, who killed a man while helping her husband escape from jail in 1977. Earlier this year, the State's Parole Board voted 3-1 to recommend a commutation of her life-without-parole sentence to 36 years in prison. The application was rejected "without comment." On the other hand, Beebe announced that he intends to grant 10 pardons to individuals who have completed jail time, fulfilled all parole / probationary requirements and paid all fines related to their sentences. 27 clemency additional requests were denied. See story here and here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Texas: Rejection

It is reported that Eric Nenno's request for clemency from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has been rejected, clearing the way for lethal injection this evening. Nenno was convicted for the abduction, rape and strangling of a 7-year-old girl over a decade ago. His lawyers say he is a "a good man who committed a terrible crime," but also emphasize that he was in the Navy from 1979 to 1983, where he was exposed to toxic chemicals (in a steam and heat shop) that may have damaged brain areas controlling strong emotional impulses. Nenno adds that, at the time of the killing, he was drinking heavily and smoking pot. See story here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ohio: Rejection

The Toledo Blade reports attorney for 53-year old Gregory L. Bryant-Bey made "little effort" at a clemency hearing last week "to argue that he was innocent and instead focused largely on his upbringing, saying that this, and a history of drug and alcohol abuse, contributed to the man he became." And the argument "didn’t sway" the seven member board, which expressed its discontent that Bryant-Bey did "not accept full responsibility for the crimes of conviction" (a murder in 1992). The request for a commutation of the death sentence to life in prison was thus unanimously rejected by the Board, which has supported only one such request (of 34) since 1999. See story here.

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