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2001-01-23

Clinton Commutes First Federal Death Row Inmate’s Sentence to Life in Prison

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President Clinton, during his last few hours as President, commuted David Ronald Chandler’s death sentence to life inprison.

Ronnie Chandler, a marijuana-grower from Alabama, was convicted on murder conspiracy charges in 1991. The casedepended solely on the testimony of the actual murderer, Charles Ray Jarrell, who, in exchange for a plea bargain,testified at trial that Chandler had paid him $500 to commit a murder. Jarrell recanted the testimony after Chandlerwas convicted.

In a last-ditch effort to prevent the execution, lawyers filed a petition urging Clinton to commute Chandler’s deathsentence just two weeks ago.

Guests:

  • Michelle Chandler, Chandler’s sister-in-law. She played a leading role in organizing the clemency effortfor Chandler.
  • Jack Martin, Chandler’s attorney.

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