Prosecutor objects to clemency for convicted killer

Prosecutor objects to clemency for convicted killer

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT)-- Greene County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kimberly Dale says a man convicted of murder 22 years ago does not need to be released from prison.

Denver Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison for the 1992 murder of Willard Williamson in Paragould.

Earlier this month the Arkansas Parole Board recommended Governor Mike Beebe commute Mitchell's sentence.

On Thursday, Dale asked the governor to deny the board's recommendation "on several grounds."

In her letter to Beebe, Dale stated the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office has "thoroughly reviewed the file, the records before the trier of fact, and the issues that have been raised since the trial."

She claimed the defenses Mitchell presented during his recent parole hearing where similar to those presented at his trial.

"The defendant's claims have been effectively dismissed by those reviewing the record in its totality," Dale stated in her objection.

Since his conviction, Dale stated Mitchell "has been afforded and exhausted every avenue allowed by the law" to prove his innocence.

Dale also called into question Mitchell's time behind bars.

"From my review of the defendant's violations while being incarcerated, it also appears that his compliance with his incarceration has been far from exemplary," she stated.

Dale suggested Mitchell's conduct and "inability to comply with rules" while incarcerated should also be considered.

For more about the case, including a timeline of events and an interview with the victim's daughter who believes the wrong man was convicted for her father's death, click here.

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