WDEL News has confirmed Gov. Jack Markell has decided to spare the life of a man who was facing execution this week for the 1990 murder of his girlfriend.
Robert Gattis was scheduled to die by lethal injection Friday
for killing Shirley Slay.
But Markell has decided to accept a recommendation from the
state Board of Pardons that he commute Gattis’ death sentence to
life in prison without parole.
Markell says the decision to grant clemency to Gattis is among
the most difficult he has made as a public official, and that he
realizes it may cause pain to Slay’s family.
But the governor also said he gives great weight to the decision
by the pardons board, which reviewed Gattis’ case thoroughly and
voted 4 to 1 for commutation.