Governor Nixon talks in general terms about why he commuted condemned prisoner Richard Clay’s sentence from death to life without parole earlier this week. He said several things went into his decision including the inolvement of other people in the case and what he called “some issues” in the court case against Clay.
But he says the role of his former assistant attorney general, Kenny Hulshof, in the case had nothing to do with his decision. Clay’s supporters say Hulshof’s involvement makes the case suspect because a court has ruled he he withheld evidence in a separate case. They’ve offered no proof of that and Hulshof does not comment.
Nixon denies his commutation of a death sentence earlier this week means he’s getting soft on the death penalty. Nixon wiped out Clay’s death sentence hours before Clay was to be executed. Clay will serve life without parole now.
Nixon notes 50 men were executed while he was Attorney General and one has been executed since he became Governor. Another execution is scheduled for next month. Nixon says he’ll evaluate that case on its merits.