Beebe Denies Clemency to Bluesman, Mansion Trusty; Pardons 26

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Governor Beebe has denied clemency to a blues musician who had a hit song and is now in prison for drugs, bribery and other offenses, along with a Governor's Mansion trusty convicted of killing his wife.

Yesterday, Beebe announced his intent to pardon 26 people and denied clemency or didn't take action on the applications of 54 people, including Calvin Leavy and Danny Edward Verdict.

Leavy, who had the hit "Cummins Prison Farm" in 1970, is being held in the Jefferson County Jail and Correctional Facility, serving a 75-year term.

Verdict is serving life in prison for his 1992 conviction in the shooting death of Marcella Verdict.

A governor's office spokesman would not explain why the men were denied clemency but said Beebe looks at each case individually.  Beebe has now issued 66 pardons or commutations since taking office in January 2007; his predecessor and now presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee issued 1,033 pardons and commutations during 10-and-a-half years in office.

Leavy was convicted in 1992 in Pulaski County of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, delivery of a controlled substance, public servant bribery and use of a communication facility -  pager - in the commission of a felony.

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