Gay Mitchell at centre of clemency row over unremorseful double murderer 10 years ago

Gay Mitchell at centre of clemency row over unremorseful double murderer

Will any presidential candidate be left standing when all the dirt has been dug up?

A day after David Norris inevitably withdrew his candidacy in the wake of the weekend's clemency letter revelations, Fine Gael candidate Gay Mitchell is now at the centre of a similar dispute.

Advertisement

Only the bare details have begun to emerge surrounding a letter written by Mitchell in an attempt to have double murderer Paul Hill taken off death row in Florida in 2003.

The only response in Mitchell's defence has come from his spokesperson, who told the Irish Examiner: "Mr Mitchell did it because he is an implacable opponent of the death penalty.

"It is different [to the Norris situation] in that he was seeking that the death penalty be replaced by a term in prison. He wasn’t seeking mitigation," the spokesperson said.

Hill, a Presbyterian Minister and anti-abortion fanatic, was convicted for murdering a Florida abortion clinic doctor John Britton and his bodyguard, James Barrett.

The double murderer was executed by lethal injection later in 2003. Mr Mitchell was Fine Gael spokesman on Foreign Affairs when he made the appeal for clemency on Hill’s behalf.

In this video, Hill shows no remorse for the murders and says God made him do it.

Advertisement