Board Recommends Clemency for Man Convicted in Two Deaths

PINE BLUFF, AR - The Arkansas Board of Parole has recommended a commuted sentence for a man accused of killing two people in 1978.

The board announced its recommendation yesterday for 65-year-old James Willie Robinson, an inmate at the Cummins Unit in Grady.

The board voted in favor of commuting Robinson's life sentence to 30 years.

Robinson was convicted of capital murder in 1981 for the deaths in Jefferson County.  In his clemency application, Robinson described his crime: "I was in a outside marriage affair.  Two people were killed."

On December 2, 1978, Robinson killed his girlfriend, Linda Williams, and another woman, Dora Jackson, in the parking lot of Fred's Department Store in Pine Bluff.  Williams died huddled over her 4-year-old daughter, who was not injured.

Robinson told authorities he believed Williams had placed a hex on him.

Governor Beebe will get the recommendation after a 30-day public notification period.  Beebe can take no action or deny the application.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)