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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Death row inmate receives last-minute clemency

click to enlarge crowe.jpg

Less than three hours before he was scheduled to die, Georgia death row inmate Samuel David Crowe was granted clemency by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The board released a brief statement:

After careful and exhaustive consideration of the requests, the Board voted to grant clemency. The Board voted to commute the sentence to life without parole.

Since 1995, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles has considered 24 death sentenced inmates, and this is the third sentenced inmate to be commuted.

Crowe pleaded guilty to the 1998 murder of his former coworker, whom he killed during an armed robbery in Douglasville. He was sentenced to death a year after the killing.

The board's decision to commute Crowe's sentence could bode well for another death row inmate, Troy Anthony Davis.

Last July, the board granted Davis a stay of execution and issued an order stating, "The members of the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles will not allow an execution to proceed in this State unless and until its members are convinced that there is no doubt as to the guilt of the accused."

Prior to issuing the order, the board heard from five witnesses whom Davis's attorney believed could help prove Davis didn't commit the murder for which he was sentenced in 1991.

The board is expected to hear from more witnesses later this year, after another execution date for Davis is set.

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