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Arkansas governor to spare the life of death row inmate

Death row inmate Jason McGehee was convicted of directing the beating and murder of a teenager who had told police about a northern Arkansas crime ring.
(Arkansas Department of Correction via AP)

Arkansas’ governor says he intends to spare the life of a death row inmate the state had planned to execute in April.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday said he planned to grant clemency to Jason McGehee, commuting his sentence from death to life without parole.

McGehee had been sentenced to death in the 1996 beating death of 15-year-old Johnny Melbourne Jr.

McGehee was among eight death row inmates Arkansas intended to execute in April, but had been spared after a federal judge put his execution on hold. The Arkansas Parole Board had recommended that Hutchinson grant McGehee clemency.

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The judge said McGehee was entitled to a 30-day comment period before Hutchinson made his decision.

Arkansas put four inmates to death in April. Hutchinson earlier Friday set another execution for November.


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