In Oklahoma, Anthony Sanchez, on death row for 27 years, told CBS News in a telephone interview that he will reject his opportunity for a clemency hearing because of the unlikelihood it would be granted. CBS said Sanchez, now 44, pointed to the recent cases of Bigler Stouffer and James Coddington, both of whom received clemency recommendations from the Pardon and Parole Board only to have Gov. Kevin Stitt reject them, as proof that the process is pointless. Sanchez was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of Oklahoma University student Juli Busken in 2006.
In Alabama, Bryan Stevenson told AL.com that Alabama’s plan to expand the window of time it has to execute people would not solve the myriad problems that have plagued the state’s execution protocol forcing it to call a pause while it conducted a review of the process. The result is a plan to set a 30-day period during which individuals can be killed and allow the execution team 30 hours to complete the execution. “There’s a reason why we provide clarity and certainty around execution dates,” Stevenson said. “Because a well-recognized form of torture is to say, ‘Oh, we’re going to execute you, but we’re not going to tell you when. It could be in the next hour. It could be in five hours.’ And I don’t think what we’re doing is moving in the direction of respect for basic human rights. I think it’s the opposite.”
In Florida, Robert DuBoise will be compensated $1.85 million for the 37 years he spent in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, the Tampa Bay Times reported. DuBoise was 18 when he was arrested for the 1983 rape and murder of Barbara Grams in Tampa. He was convicted in 1985 and spent three years on death row before his sentence was reduced. He was convicted based on bite mark evidence and false testimony from a jailhouse snitch. He was cleared after the Innocence Project and the Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office Conviction Integrity Unit obtained DNA evidence that eliminated DuBoise and implicated two other men already serving life sentences for another murder. He was released in 2020.
Ted Kaczynski, known as the Unabomber, died at a federal prison medical facility in Butner, N.C. earlier this month, reportedly by suicide. He was 81. The Washington Post reported he was found unresponsive in his cell on June 10. Kaczynski was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing three people and injuring 23 others with mail bombs between 1978 and 1995. A mathematics prodigy, Kaczynski earned master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics and, for a short time, was a math professor at UC Berkeley. When Kaczynski left Berkeley, he moved to a small cabin in the wilderness of Montana, where he began making and sending bombs to individuals he believed were using technology to destroy nature. His brother, David, a committed death penalty opponent, turned him in to the FBI, hoping he would not be charged with the death penalty. Still, then-Attorney General Janet Reno insisted on capital charges. But after Kaczynski pleaded guilty and admitted responsibility for all 16 bombings and the resulting deaths and injuries, he was sentenced to four consecutive life terms plus 30 years in 1998.