Judge weighs clemency agreement for Del. killer

January 18, 2012 - 6:00 AM

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Superior Court judge in Delaware is holding a hearing to put final approval to Gov. Jack Markell's decision to commute the death sentence of a man who was facing execution this week for the murder of his former girlfriend.

Markell on Tuesday said he would commute the sentence of Robert Gattis to life in prison, following a recommendation from the state Board of Pardons.

But the governor agreed with the pardons board that in return for having his sentence commuted, Gattis must forgo any further legal challenge to his conviction and sentence. Gattis also must waive the right to any further request for pardon or commutation, and agreed to spend the rest of his life in the maximum-security unit of the state prison.