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Oklahoma convict to be executed for 1995 stabbing after clemency denied

A state board in Oklahoma voted Wednesday to disclaim recommending clemency for a person convicted of stabbing a Tulsa girl to dying with a butcher knife in 1995, clearing the best way for his deliberate execution subsequent month.

In a 3-2 vote, the Pardon and Parole Board voted in opposition to clemency for Jemaine Cannon, 51, who’s scheduled to obtain a deadly injection on July 20.

Cannon was convicted of killing 20-year-old Sharonda Clark, with whom he had been residing after he had escaped from a jail work heart in southwest Oklahoma. On the time, Cannon had been serving a 15-year-sentence in reference to a violent assault of one other girl.


Cannon and his lawyer, Mark Henricksen, claimed that Cannon killed Clark in self-defense after she attacked him to maintain him from leaving the Tulsa residence they shared.

“I’m deeply disheartened that the act of defending my life and the acts that she initiated in opposition to me ever occurred,” Cannon instructed the board through a video feed from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. “The ending of human life was by no means desired, deliberate or premeditated.”

Henricksen additionally claimed Cannon’s trial and appellate attorneys had been ineffective for not presenting proof that supported his self-defense declare. His trial attorneys introduced no witnesses, no displays and rested after prosecutors introduced their case, Henricksen mentioned.

“The protection on this case carried out what might charitably be described as a drive-by protection,” Henricksen mentioned. “It seems the protection by no means took the self-defense severely and solely targeted on the punishment portion of this litigation.”

Prosecutors from the Oklahoma Lawyer Common’s Workplace rejected Cannon’s self-defense declare and mentioned each the trial court docket jury and the appellate courts have achieved the identical.

“Jemaine Cannon will not be deserving of your mercy,” mentioned Oklahoma Lawyer Common Gentner Drummond. “I wish to emphasize the surprising, violent nature of this explicit homicide.”

Proof reveals Clark was stabbed 3 times within the throat and that the knife broke after she was stabbed as soon as within the chest, Drummond mentioned. Clark was then dragged into the toilet the place she was left to die on the ground, the lawyer normal mentioned.

Drummond added that Cannon had a protracted historical past of violence in opposition to ladies, together with a case for which he was sentenced to jail wherein a girl claimed Cannon raped her and viciously beat her with an iron, toaster and claw hammer.

One other girl, Pam Salzman, who testified at Wednesday’s listening to, mentioned Cannon stalked and threatened her and her household, in the end choking her and slamming her head in opposition to the fender of her automotive throughout an assault in 1990.

“This synthetic my life a residing hell on earth,” Salzman instructed the board.


The panel additionally heard from Clark’s eldest daughter, Yeh-Sehn White, who mentioned Cannon had by no means in 28 years expressed any regret for his actions. She urged the board to reject clemency.

“Mercy was by no means given my mom,” she mentioned. “Even nonetheless right this moment he factors the blame at my mom for his actions.”

In his last phrases to the board, Cannon mentioned he was “extraordinarily sorry and remorseful that any of this passed off. The top consequence was not supposed.”

Oklahoma, which has executed extra inmates per capita than another state because the reinstatement of the dying penalty in 1976, has carried out eight executions since resuming deadly injections in October 2021.

Public assist and use of the dying penalty in 2022 continued its greater than two-decade decline within the U.S., however assist stays excessive in Oklahoma. A state poll query in 2016 on whether or not to enshrine the dying penalty within the Oklahoma Structure obtained greater than 65% of the vote.

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