Tennessee governor denies clemency to death row ‘model inmate’

The governor of Tennessee has denied a clemency request for a condemned prisoner described as a “model inmate,” clearing the way for his execution on Thursday, February 20. The decision was made despite appeals to spare his life from the family of one of his victims, and from prison officers.

Nicholas Sutton, 58, was sentenced to death in 1988 after he and another inmate murdered a fellow prisoner, Carl Estep, by stabbing him nearly 40 times on January 15, 1985. At the time of Estep’s murder, Sutton was serving a life sentence for the murder of his grandmother, Dorothy Sutton, whom he killed when he was 18.

Gov. Bill Lee (R) denied the request for clemency on Wednesday morning.

“After careful consideration of Nicholas Sutton’s request for clemency and a thorough review of the case, I am upholding the sentence of the State of Tennessee and will not be intervening,” said Lee.

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