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Monday, January 10, 2011

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon grants death row inmate Richard Clay clemency


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Gov. Nixon commutes sentence of death row inmate
BY REBECCA BERG post-dispatch.com  
Monday, January 10, 2011

Gov. Jay Nixon has spared death row inmate Richard Clay from execution, ordering him instead to spend life in prison without parole.
Clay was scheduled to die just after midnight on Wednesday for the 1994 for-hire murder of Randy Martindale in Missouri's Bootheel.
In a statement released by the governor's office this afternoon, Nixon said that Clay's "involvement in this crime is clear."
"Having looked at this matter in its entirety and after significant thought and counsel, I have concluded, however, to exercise my constitutional authority and commute Richard Clay's sentence to life without the possibility of parole," Nixon said.
Clay's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, said she was surprised and pleased that the governor made his decision with more than a day remaining until the scheduled execution.
"What we desperately needed was more time," Herndon said. "We wanted to stop the execution, so we got what we wanted from Gov. Nixon."
After the state Supreme Court ruled last week against a stay of execution for Clay, an intervention by the governor was Clay's only remaining option.
Attorney General Chris Koster released a statement supporting the governor's decision, calling it "difficult."
"I am confident that Gov. Nixon gave this case careful consideration and I respect his decision," Koster said.
 . Click Here for more info.

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