Virginia governor: Man is guilty, but shouldn't be executed
FILE – This undated file photo provided by the Virginia Department of Corrections shows Ivan Teleguz. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called off Teleguz’s execution in a murder-for-hire case, citing concerns about some of the information presented to jurors. The Democratic governor commuted the sentence to life in prison Thursday, April 20, 2017. (Virginia Department of Corrections via AP, File)
RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to spare the life of a death row inmate came down to concerns about the fairness of his trial, not doubts about his guilt.
For weeks, supporters of Ivan Teleguz urged McAuliffe to halt his execution because they believe he may be innocent.
Teleguz was scheduled to be put to death next week, but on Thursday, McAuliffe commuted his sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
McAuliffe said he believes Teleguz hired another man to kill his ex-girlfriend in 2001. But he said he cannot let him be put to death because jurors were given false information that may have swayed their sentencing decision.
McAuliffe said jurors were told the man was involved in another murder in Pennsylvania, which never happened.