Speaking in St. Louis on Thursday Missouri Governor Jay Nixon would not elaborate on the reasons why he commuted the death sentence of convicted murderer Richard Clay.
Clay was sentenced to death for the 1994 murder-for-hire of Randy Martindale.
Nixon says he still supports the death penalty and pointed to dozens of capital punishment cases he participated in during his 16 years as attorney general. However, his decision to commute Clay’s sentence on Monday involved a variety of "other considerations."
“This is just one that when you combine all of those together I just felt, and continue to feel, the best decision was not to use the ultimate penalty, but still a very serious penalty, life without the possibility of probation or parole, ” explained Nixon.
Clay’s lawyers maintain that another man had a greater motive to murder Martindale.
Nixon would not comment on the case of Martin Link, who is scheduled to be executed next month.