Janet Danahey Supporters Will Continue to Push For Her Clemency

9:57 AM, Jan 6, 2013   |    comments
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Janet Danahey, NCDOC

Greensboro, NC -- Governor Bev Perdue left office Saturday without addressing Janet Danahey's petition for clemency.

Ten years ago, Danahey pleaded guilty to the murder of four people after setting an apartment building on fire. 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.

READ: Prosecutors, Fire Investigator Still Emotional About Arson Deaths

Last summer, Danahey submitted a petition for clemency to Governor Perdue. Clemency will not clear her record but it would reduce her sentence.

When the petition was filed, 40 letters of support were attached.

One of those was written by Bob Harris, the father of Beth Harris.

Read: Bob Harris Shares His Journey of Forgiveness

"Is 10 years enough? Or is it never going to be enough? If she dies in prison, a lot of people feel that is adequate or just, myself, I don't," explained Bob Harris.

"I've accepted Beth's gone, I accepted that Janet has admitted her responsibility for that, but I'm left with no option but to forgive her," Harris added.

"I put Mr. Harris right up there among the angels. This is a man with equanimity, this is a man who is at peace with his God, and this is a man who is able to forgive," said Locke Clifford, Janet Danahey's attorney.

But Harris' forgiveness has not lead to freedom.

"We are still in shock that the governor simply turned her back on our petition, didn't deny it, didn't grant it," explained Clifford.

Janet says she lit the fire as a prank, but it grew, and killed four people.

After she was sentenced, Harris met with Janet in prison.

"It was very, very deep from her heart. And she was very heart broken about it, very upset about it. The intensity in how she spoke to me about how she would honor the memories and the lives of the four victims, you can't fake that," said Harris.

In the coming weeks, Clifford says he will met with his team of attorneys and decide what the next step is.


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