Arkansas Death Row Inmate And Daughter Of Victim Ask For Clemency

Oct 15, 2015

Stacy Eugene Johnson
Credit Arkansas Department Of Correction

One of eight Arkansas death row inmates whose executions were stayed by a circuit court is asking the Arkansas Parole Board for clemency.

Stacey Eugene Johnson's defense attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, told the board Thursday that Johnson may be innocent and his sentence should be commuted to life without parole.

Johnson was convicted in the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was killed while her two young children were home.

Rosenzweig says one child was deemed incompetent to testify and her statements should not have been read to the jury. He also said Johnson was denied access to the child's competency records for a second trial.

The daughter of the victim also asked the parole board to grant clemency to Johnson.

Ashley Heath was 6 when she witnessed the killing. She told the board she didn't want Johnson to be executed.

The execution of Johnson and the seven other inmates were stayed by a circuit court last week amid a challenge to the state's execution drug secrecy law. The state is appealing those stays to the Arkansas Supreme Court.