Brian Darrell Davis to be Executed Despite Parole Board's Recommendation for Clemency

Brian Darrell Davis is scheduled to die by lethal injection this evening at an Oklahoma state prison. He was sentenced to death after being convicted of the rape and murder of his girlfriend's mother.

Davis, 38, was convicted in 2003 of stabbing and raping his live-in-girlfriend's mother, Josephine "Jody" Sanford. He admitted that he killed her during a fight in 2001 but maintained that he never meant to hurt her. During the investigation, Davis gave police several versions of how Sanford died, but a jury convicted him of the assault and murder.

Authorities reported that Sanford had six stab wounds, a broken jaw, and marks on her neck. DNA evidence proved that Sanford had been intimate with Davis, but he argued that it was consensual. Sanford's daughter, Stacey, was the one to find her body in the apartment she shared with Davis.

"There is no doubt Mr. Davis stabbed Jodie Sanford six times. However, he only did so after he was attacked with a butcher knife," Davis' attorney, Jack Fisher, said in a statement on Monday. "In 37 years I have never had a case where the defendant was lying because his testimony matched the evidence."

Governor Mary Fallin denied Davis' request for clemency and denied a parole board's suggestion that his sentence be commuted to life in prison after Davis confessed to his crime and expressed remorse before the board. They voted 4-1 for clemency, but Gov. Fallin disagreed with the board and upheld the death penalty.

Gov. Fallin "is satisfied that justice is being served in this case," a spokesman said on Monday.

"Gov. Fallin's refusal is indeed a cruel and empty mockery of fairness and justice," Rev. Loyce Newton-Edwards told "In Oklahoma, black folks are routinely convicted by white folks and nobody seems to care. It absolutely wasn't a jury of his peers."

Davis will be the third inmate executed by the state this year and the second in two weeks.

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