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Missouri Governor Denies Clemency for Death Row Inmate Who Got Support From Guards

Mike Parson, the governor of Missouri, said on Monday that he would not commute the death sentence of Brian Dorsey, who pleaded guilty to murdering Ben and Sarah Bonnie in 2006 and is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday unless the courts intervene.

“The pain Dorsey brought to others can never be rectified, but carrying out Dorsey’s sentence according to Missouri law and the court’s order will deliver justice and provide closure,” said Mr. Parson, a Republican who previously served as a sheriff.

Mr. Dorsey’s clemency request was unusual because more than 70 current and former prison workers who got to know Mr. Dorsey behind bars asked the governor to commute his sentence. They described Mr. Dorsey, 52, as a compliant and respectful inmate who had earned officers’ respect, eventually becoming a barber for employees at the prison.

“The very concept of ‘corrections’ implies that we want incarcerated people to change their ways,” Timothy Lancaster, a former officer at the prison where Mr. Dorsey was held, wrote in a recent column in The Kansas City Star. “Executing Dorsey would dishonor the hard work he has done to fulfill that objective.”

Mr. Dorsey is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday. He has asked state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, to intervene before the scheduled execution.

“Brian’s unprecedented support, and his irrefutable evidence of redemption, are precisely the circumstances for which clemency is designed,” Megan Crane, a lawyer for Mr. Dorsey, said in a statement. “Allowing Brian to be executed despite this truth is devastating.”

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