April 11, 2017

Law Professor Cara Drinan was interviewed on April 10, 2017 by an NBC affiliate regarding the upcoming Virginia execution of Ivan Teleguz. In 2006, a jury convicted Teleguz of murder-for-hire of Stephanie Sipe, the mother of his child. There was no physical evidence connecting Teleguz to the crime, only the testimony of three witnesses. Since his trial, two of those three witnesses have recanted their testimony and have explained that they implicated Teleguz in exchange for favorable treatment from the government. The only other witness tying Teleguz to the crime was Michael Hetrick, her actual killer, who avoided the death penalty himself by implicating Teleguz.

Professor Drinan is working with a team of lawyers who filed a clemency petition on behalf of Teleguz on Friday, April 7, 2017. Teleguz is scheduled to be executed in Virginia on April 25, 2017, unless Governor McAuliffe intervenes. The clemency petition, supplemented by a statement from Professor Drinan as an expert on criminal justice matters, offers substantial evidence of Teleguz's innocence and highlights sentencing phase errors, as well as deficiencies in Teleguz's trial representation.

According to Drinan, "many clemency decisions are difficult ones for governors...this is an easy one."