Virginia Woman Seeks Clemency for Father’s Killer

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The daughter of a slain sheriff’s deputy urged Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to stop the execution of William Morva, the man who killed her father and a hospital security guard in 2006, the Washington Post reports. The statement from Rachel Sutphin backing clemency for Morva comes one day before he is scheduled to be executed. Sutphin adds a powerful, personal voice to a growing number of state lawmakers urging McAuliffe to commute Morva’s death sentence.

Morva, 35, was convicted in 2008 for fatally shooting Cpl. Eric Sutphin and hospital guard Derrick McFarland after escaping from custody. His clemency campaign has attracted local and international supporters who say the jury that sentenced Morva to death was not informed of his severe mental illness. The effort comes as lawmakers in eight states have proposed eliminating capital punishment for people with severe mental illnesses. In a statement yesterday, Rachel Sutphin wrote, “I am against the death penalty for religious and moral reasons. I have fought and will continue to fight for clemency for all death row inmates until Virginia declares the death penalty unconstitutional. I have sent my own letter to the governor showing my support for clemency.” Sutphin, a 20-year-old student at Virginia Tech, is one of the sheriff deputy’s two daughters.

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