The Arkansas Parole Board has declined to recommend executive clemency for two men on death row who are scheduled to be executed on April 20.
Stacey Johnson and an attorney for Ledell Lee spoke to the parole board on Friday morning. Both maintain that they are innocent of the 1993 murders for which they were condemned. That afternoon, the board also heard testimony from victims’ families, most of whom requested that the sentences not be commuted.
In Johnson’s case, two members of the seven-person parole board recommended his death sentence be commuted to life without parole. The dissenting commissioners were Dawn Vandiver and Abraham Carpenter.
The commissioners voted 6-0 to not recommend a commutation for Lee, with one commissioner, Lona McCastlain, recusing herself.
The parole board continues to hold executive clemency hearings this week. Today it is hearing from Marcel Williams, who is scheduled for an April 24 execution date. Williams, Johnson and Lee are three of the eight men the state plans to put to death within a 10-day period in April. Lawyers for the inmates are expected to file a federal lawsuit today seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the executions.