Looking for Clarity in Death Row Clemency
Grant Blankenship

It’s been a year since the passage of this bill into law. In the time since, Georgia has dramatically sped up the pace at which it is executing people. In about half of the instances I have put in FOIA requests to the Board of Pardons and Parole for the explanation of their denial of clemency which the framers of this law say is required. In each instance I have received this reply in the place of the full explanation.

“Grant, the Board’s Order in the case is responsive to your request.

Regarding the Board’s action as it relates to your questions about HB 71 and the board’s decisions;

After a review of the Georgia law, the Board’s position is that the published resolution/order as a result of this decision (Bishop’s decision today) fits within the framework of HB 71.

The statute clearly states, “a written decision relating to a commutation of a death sentence..”

Today’s decision (Bishop’s) was not to grant clemency in the case, therefore this decision did not relate to the commutation of a death sentence.

The Board’s understanding of the law (HB71) was reached in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office.

Thank you”

Probably time for a follow up with the legislators.

Thanks for reading,

Grant B.