Clemency pleas for convicted murderers centred on objection to death penalty
The first letter: 1998
Published 16/08/2011 | 05:00
Gay Mitchell personally handed in a letter to the US Embassy in Dublin in 1998, addressed to the US government and congress, protesting the impending execution of Louis Joe Truesdale Jr.
Truesdale was convicted in 1980 of the kidnap, rape and murder of Rebecca Ann Eudy (18). According to the prosecutors, Truesdale forced Eudy into his car at gunpoint, shot her four times and raped her as she bled to death.
The Mitchell campaign commented: "Gay Mitchell pointed out that Mr Truesdale was the 500th person to be executed since the restoration of capital punishment in the US in 1976. He pointed out that, of 3,300 people on death row, 46 were women and 58 were juveniles."
The second letter: 2003
Mr Mitchell wrote a letter calling for a halt to the execution of Paul Jennings Hill, who was convicted of the murder of a doctor and his bodyguard outside a US abortion clinic in 1994.
Then Florida governor Jeb Bush -- a brother of George W Bush -- ignored Mr Mitchell's plea and Hill was executed by lethal injection in 2003.
The Mitchell campaign commented: "Like most people seeking clemency, Mr Mitchell made it abundantly clear that he abhorred Paul Hill's crime. He has always taken that view in other cases.
"Paul Hill's impending execution in 2003 drew clemency pleas from every corner of the globe spanning people from the widest selection of political, civic and church organisations.
"It was led by Amnesty International and one of the victim's daughters wrote eloquently pleading for clemency."