"Oklahoma governors weigh mercy, justice in death penalty decisions," is today's editorial in the Oklahoman.
THE state Pardon and Parole Board recently voted to recommend clemency for Brian D. Davis, convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend's mother in 2001.
Gov. Mary Fallin didn't agree. No stay of execution was issued. Davis, who was previously convicted of rape and did not deny killing his victim, is scheduled to die Tuesday.
This isn't the first time the causes of mercy and justice have conflicted and generated a face-off over the death penalty in Oklahoma. When Gov. Lee Cruce served from 1911 to 1915, he commuted every death sentence imposed during his administration, 22 in all. That set a record for U.S. governors that held until 2003.
In a 1912 statement, Cruce declared capital punishment “is not in keeping with the demands of modern, enlightened civilization.” He argued the death penalty did not deter crime, and that “a great service could be rendered to humanity” by its abolishment.
“It is easy enough to criticize; it is easy enough, while listening to the clamor of an enraged populace crying for blood, to say that the victim shall pay the death penalty,” Cruce said, “but it is quite another thing to sit in judgment upon that wretch and realize that only you stand between a human soul and his God.”
"Gov. says Okla. execution will go on Tuesday," is the AP report filed by Justin Juozapavicius.
An Oklahoma man is set to be executed this week for raping and murdering his girlfriend's mother, despite a recommendation by the state's pardon and parole board to commute his death sentence after he apologized.
Brian Darrell Davis is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday evening at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. The 39-year-old will be the third inmate to be executed by Oklahoma this year and the second in as many weeks.
Davis' confession and apology at a hearing before the pardon and parole board led them to vote 4-1 for a clemency recommendation. But Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin rejected that, her second since she took office in January 2011.
AP also posts, "Okla. Death Penalty Group Urges Halt to Execution." It's via KWGS-FM, Tulsa Public Radio.
The Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is meeting at the state Capitol Monday and urging Fallin to grant clemency to 39-year-old Brian Darrell Davis. The group also is planning a "pray-in" and demonstration on Tuesday, when Davis is scheduled to receive a lethal injection at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 earlier this month to recommend clemency for Davis after he took responsibility for the victim's death and apologized. It was the second time the panel has recommended clemency to Fallin, who rejected both.
To date there have been a total of 1,336 post-Furman executions since 1977, including 16 executions in American death penalty states this year.
Earlier coverage of the clemency recommendation in Brian Davis' case begins at the link. More recent coverage from Oklahoma begins with the state's second execution of 2013, earlier this month. Related posts are in the clemency category index.