Missouri Gov. Nixon stands by condemned inmate's commutation

Thursday, January 13, 2011 | 9:58 p.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — Missouri's governor still believes the death penalty is appropriate in certain cases, despite lingering questions about why he commuted the death sentence of a 45-year-old inmate.

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday maintained that there were many facets to his decision to spare Richard Clay from his scheduled execution Wednesday. But Nixon declined to elaborate during a question-and-answer session after his visit to an auto technology program at St. Louis Community College.

Clay had been scheduled to die by chemical injection for a 1994 killing. Nixon commuted the sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Clay was convicted of killing Randy Martindale of New Madrid but has maintained his innocence.

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