Sunday, June 6, 2010

Canadian on Death Row Will Seek Support of Prime Minister

Greg Jackson the lawyer for Ronald Smith the only Canadian on death row in the United States says the Canadian National Government's support will carry a lot of weight if his client has to ask for clemency.

Jackson says Canada's opinion will matter if Smith has to plead his case for clemency, which could happen as early as next year. Smith was convicted in Montana, in 1983, of murdering two cousins, Harvey Madman Jr. and Thomas Running Rabbit, while he was high on drugs and alcohol.

Canadian Consul General Dale Eisler told Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer earlier this week that if the case comes to him, he should spare Smith the death penalty.
Smith will still file an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and will seek clemency from the governor only if his appeal fails.

Jackson said if clemency is the only option he would solicit the intervention of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He said a phone call from the prime minister would be very persuasive.

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