Petition of Clemency Explained

10:56 PM, Jul 22, 2012   |    comments
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The woman responsible for the deaths of four people is asking the governor to be freed.

Janet Danahey's attorney has filed a petition of clemency on her behalf in the Governor's Office of Clemency.

The governor has the ability to erase a criminal record with a pardon or petition of clemency.

A pardon clears a person's record and it's typically a controversial move but Governor Bev Perdue has used it.

In 2010, she pardoned Gregory Taylor, a man found innocent of murder after spending 16 years behind bars.

Janet Danahey is asking for clemency, which will not clear her record, but will reduce her sentence.

She is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the deaths of Beth Harris, Ryan Bek, and sisters Donna and Rachel Llewellyn.

Her lawyers believe the 10 years she has served for her crime is sufficient and is asking that she be released.

The petition is working its way through the process. The governor's office says Perdue is aware of the petition, but hasn't made a decision.

In a statement released to News 2 they say, "The Governor's Office is reviewing the Danahey petition just as it is reviewing each of the other petitions filed with the Clemency office. Every clemency petition is given full and careful consideration, and each one is considered on its own merits. There is no timetable by which the Governor is required to make a decision."
Because there is no timeline, the governor could sign the petition on her last day in office.

She receives about 150 petitions of clemency a year but so far, hasn't granted any.

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