UPDATE: Oklahoma Board Votes for Clemency in Death Penalty Case

March 26, 2010

Oklahoma SealC232The votes have come in and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board decided by three votes to two to recommend that Governor Brad Henry commute Richard Smith’s death sentence.  Because this recommendation is nonbinding, it is vital that we continue speaking out in the name of justice for Mr. Smith.  Governor Henry has received six previous recommendations for clemency for death row inmates from the Pardon and Parole Board since he has taken office on January 13, 2003.  Unfortunately, he has taken the Board’s advice on only two of those six recommendations.  

In addition to the Pardon and Parole Board, six of the jurors who originally sentenced Mr. Smith to death have called for clemency.  At the trial, these jurors never heard evidence of Mr. Smith’s harsh upbringing, addiction problems, and psychological and mental health issues, which they now cite as reasons for commuting Mr. Smith’s sentence.

Please continue to write appeals urging Governor Henry to accept the Board’s recommendation and reject the execution of Richard Smith.