The Utah State Board of Pardons has refused to grant a new commutation hearing to death row inmate William Andrews.
In a one-page ruling issued Thursday, the board voted 2-1 to sustain its previous decision denying clemency to Andrews. Andrews and co-defendant Pierre Dale Selby were sentenced to die for the 1974 slayings of two women and one man during the robbery of Ogden's Hi Fi Shop. Selby was executed by lethal injection in 1987 after his appeals were exhausted.Board member Victoria Palacios, who also voted to grant clemency to Andrews following his commutation hearing, dissented in the decision.
Andrews' attorneys claimed in their request for a second hearing that he had been forced to testify against himself when the board considered the transcript of an interview with a prison social worker.
Attorneys argued they had not been provided internal reports generated by the Board of Pardons staff. Andrews' attorneys also claimed the board relied on hearsay evidence in making its decision.
In the majority opinion, board Chairman H.L. "Pete" Haun and pro tem member Edward Kimball wrote the information was of "slight significance to the decision. If the information was wholly disregarded, the board's decision would still be the same."
Haun and Kimball also wrote the board is not required to reject hearsay and opinion evidence. "In this case, the board received such evidence from both sides and gave careful consideration how much weight to give it."
Palacios gave no reason for her dissenting vote.
Andrews, 35, was scheduled to die by lethal injection for his crimes on Aug. 22, but the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 160-day stay Aug. 19. In the meantime, separate appeals are pending in federal court, and the Andrews' attorneys have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to consider new issues of the case.
Robert Wallace, who was selected by the attorney general's office to represent the state in the commutation hearing, said the board's decision was justified.
"I think it's a very appropriate decision. He received a full, fair hearing the first time around. There wasn't anything new for the board to hear," Wallace said.
Defense Attorney Robert Anderson could not be reached for comment.