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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Clemency hearing Tuesday for death row inmate with cancer

Nov. 28, 2021 Updated Sun., Nov. 28, 2021 at 8:59 p.m.

Associated Press

Associated Press

BOISE – Idaho’s parole board is scheduled to hold a hearing this week on a request to reduce the death penalty sentence of an inmate with terminal cancer to a sentence of life in prison.

Idaho’s Commission of Pardons and Parole is scheduled to meet Tuesday to hear the request to commute the sentence of Gerald Ross Pizzuto Jr., who was convicted of a double murder in 1985, the Idaho Statesman reports.

The commission agreed to the hearing in May, staying Pizzuto’s June 2 execution date.

Pizzuto, 65, has been on death row for 35 years after being convicted for the July 1985 slayings of two gold prospectors at a cabin north of McCall.

Pizzuto has bladder cancer, diabetes and heart disease and is confined to a wheelchair. He’s been on hospice care since 2019, when doctors said he likely wouldn’t survive for another year.

If the seven-member board grants Pizzuto clemency, Gov. Brad Little must approve the decision.

Court records show Pizzuto’s life was marred by violence from childhood. Family members offered gruesome testimony that Pizzuto was repeatedly tortured, raped and severely beaten by his stepfather and sometimes by his stepfather’s friends, and that he sustained multiple brain injuries.

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