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January 8, 2005

Indiana capital commutation and other capital news

As detailed in this article, out-going Indiana Governor Joe Kernan yesterday commuted the death sentence of Michael W. Daniels to life without parole for his 1978 murder of a minister during a petty robbery that netted $1.  As the article details, this is Gov. Kernan's second capital commutation and his written explanation asserts these cases "should cause us to take a hard look at how Indiana administers and reviews capital sentences."   

The four-page statement by Gov. Kernan in support of this commutation, available here, is a fascinating read which covers many issues including ineffective assistance of counsel, proportionality and the defendant's low IQ.  The statement partially undermines and partially underscores some of Professor Austin Sarat's recent commentary about clemency in capital cases.

And there are other interesting death penalty stories, in addition to the SCOTUS cert. grants, to review this morning:

January 8, 2005 at 09:52 AM | Permalink

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