The Arizona Republic reports, "Arizona death-row inmate Kemp will not seek mercy." It's by Michael Kiefer.
Citing "the futility of the process," an Arizona Death Row prisoner Monday chose not to apply for clemency before his scheduled execution April 25.
Thomas Kemp was sentenced to death for a 1992 murder in Tucson, and late last month, the Arizona Supreme Court set a date for his execution.
Normally, about a week before an execution, a condemned prisoner has a hearing before the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, which can recommend to the governor that a death sentence be commuted to life in prison or recommend a reprieve, a stay of execution pending further consideration.
If the prisoner chooses not to attend the clemency hearing, it takes place at the board's offices in Phoenix. If the prisoner wishes to testify, he or she must do so while wearing handcuffs, leg irons and belly chains from a cage in a secure auditorium inside a prison building in Florence.
The board seldom recommends clemency, and even if it does, the governor still has to grant it.
"Arizona inmate set for execution in 2 weeks won't seek mercy from clemency board," is the AP filfing by Amanda Lee Myers.
Thomas Arnold Kemp, 63, is set to be executed by lethal injection at the state prison in Florence on April 25.
Duane Belcher, executive director of the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency, told The Associated Press on Monday that Kemp recently declined to petition the board for a lighter sentence.
"In light of the board's history of consistently denying requests for commutations, my impression is that a hearing in my case would be nothing short of a dog and pony show," Kemp wrote in a March 29 letter provided to the AP through Kemp's Tucson attorney, Tim Gabrielsen.
"A hearing provides public humiliation of the prisoner without any chance that the board might actually recommend a commutation," Kemp wrote.
Every inmate executed in Arizona has the right to petition the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency to either reduce their sentence to life in prison or delay their execution for more legal wrangling. Few decline that right.
The board has recommended delaying the death penalty in just one inmate's case in the last 20 years, possibly longer, Belcher said.
That inmate, Walter Hinze LaGrand, still was executed on March 3, 1999, in Arizona's gas chamber because then Gov. Jane Hull disagreed with the board and allowed the execution to proceed.
Belcher said the process is not futile, adding that many times individual board members vote to show an inmate mercy, although they have been in the minority.
Ohio News Network posts, "Faith leaders want mercy for Ohio death row inmate," by AP.
More than 200 religious leaders are asking Ohio Gov. John Kasich to spare a man scheduled for execution next week for fatally stabbing a 15-year-old boy during a farmhouse burglary.
Ohioans to Stop Executions and People of Faith Against the Death Penalty say they submitted a Monday letter to Kasich on behalf of about 230 faith leaders. They ask that the sentence of 49-year-old Mark Wiles be commuted to life in prison without parole.
The Ohio parole board has recommended against clemency.
Wiles' attorney says he's remorseful and has accepted responsibility for his actions in the 1985 slaying in Portage County.
"Okla. anti-death penalty group wants commutation," is the Oklahoma AP report, via the Muskogee Phoenix.
Members of an anti-death penalty group said Monday they have little hope that Gov. Mary Fallin will commute the death sentence of an Oklahoma inmate scheduled to be executed Thursday.
Three members of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty met with Fallin’s general counsel, Steve Mullins, to urge the governor to reverse her decision to deny clemency for Garry Thomas Allen, 56.
Allen’s attorneys contend he was mentally impaired when he killed 24-year-old Lawanna Gail Titsworth, the mother of his two children, on Nov. 21, 1986, in Oklahoma City. They say he had been self-medicating for an underlying mental illness, and that his mental condition had worsened.
Coalition board member James T. Rowan said the group does not expect Fallin to change her mind about clemency. He said Mullins indicated during the meeting that Allen’s clemency request “was a close case.”
A spokesman for Fallin, Alex Weintz, confirmed the group met with Mullins and discussed Allen’s case. Weintz said Fallin appreciated their input but that there was no change in the status of the case.
“The execution is still scheduled for Thursday,” Weintz said.
Fallin denied clemency for Allen on March 13, but the coalition asked her to reconsider based on the state Pardon and Parole Board’s 4-1 recommendation in 2005 that Allen’s death penalty on a first-degree murder conviction be commuted to like in prison.
Related posts are in the clemency index.
Different states have different systems of executive clemency. In 2005, Texas Appleseed and the Texas Innocence Network published, "The Role of Mercy: Safegaurding Texas Justice Through Clemency Reform," which examined best practices in executive clemency. The Appendix contains comparative state information.