OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board recommended clemency Thursday for a death row inmate scheduled to be executed this month for the rape and murder of his girlfriend’s mother.
The five-member board voted 4-1 to recommend that the death sentence of Brian Darrell Davis be commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The recommendation now goes to Gov. Mary Fallin for approval or rejection.
Members of Davis’ family wept and hugged each other when the board’s decision was made.
“A weight lifted off of all of us,” said his mother, Yvonne Davis. “Brian does deserve a second chance.”
Family members and Davis’ defense attorney, Jack Fisher, said they will urge Fallin to grant the recommendation. Davis is scheduled to be executed June 25, but Fallin has the authority to grant two 30-day reprieves in order to study the recommendation and meet with prosecution and defense attorneys, officials said.
“I pray, I beg of her to give him a second chance,” Yvonne Davis said.
Assistant Attorney General Robert Whittaker, who had urged the board to reject clemency, said he was disappointed with the board’s decision.
“We’ll continue to pursue our options. We’ll present the case to the governor,” Whittaker said.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt denounced the board’s decision and said the brutality of the attack was reflected in Davis’ sentence.
“He does not deserve our pity or clemency, and it is incomprehensible that four members of the Pardon and Parole Board would usurp the judgment of a jury and deny this family justice,” Pruitt said in a statement.
Davis, 39, was convicted by a Kay County jury of first-degree murder and first-degree rape in the November 2001 death of his girlfriend’s mother, 52-year-old Josephine Sanford. Davis was sentenced to death on the murder charge and 100 years in prison for the rape.