Clemency to Oklahoma Killer

Oklahoma City, OK – Clemency granted to Okla. death row inmate

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Gov. Brad Henry has granted clemency to a death row inmate and commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Henry took the action Wednesday in the case of Richard Tandy Smith.

Smith was originally sentenced to death for the 1986 shooting of John Cederland during an alleged drug deal. In March, the Pardon and Parole Board approved a clemency recommendation for Smith and forwarded it to the governor for consideration.

Henry says granting clemency was a difficult decision. He says he's reluctant to intervene in a capital case and respects a jury's verdict, the prosecutors who tried the case and the victim's family.

But after reviewing the evidence, Henry says he thinks the Pardon and Parole Board made a proper recommendation.