Governor recommends release of man convicted of capital murder and attempted rape

Governor Recommends Release of Man Convicted of Capital Murder, Attempted Rape – Arkansas Times

Governor Hutchinson today announced its intention to commute the life sentence imposed on James T. Carmichael, 59, for capital murder and attempted rape in North Little Rock in April 1987. The recommendation would make him eligible for release.

Carmichael gave what the court deemed an “implausible” alibi for the crime in his first interview with police. He said he drank with a hitchhiker, passed out and woke up in a ditch. When he found his car a few blocks away, he found a gun with three shots in it and he took the gun to the police because, he said, he had read an article about the crime in the newspaper. He was clean shaven and skinned. Marsh’s wife said her attacker had a mustache and was scratched during the fight. She identified Marsh in a queue as her attacker.

When he was recommended for commutation by the state parole board in 2012, according to an AP account, Carmichael said he shot Marsh because he was choking him for fooling around with his woman. He said he had no intention of hurting anyone. Governor Mike Beebe did not accept the recommendation of the parole board.

Hutchinson’s recommendation, which is open for public comment for 30 days, noted objections from Pulaski’s district attorney, Larry Jegley.

Hutchinson recommended reducing Carmichael’s sentence to 35 years. It has been over 35 years since his conviction. He has been in state prison since November 1987, according to state records. Records do not indicate any major disciplinary violations in his file.

I await further comments from the governor and the prosecutor.

Among other clemency measures today, the governor recommended commutations for

Lowana D. Carroll/Cooper and Bryan Dickinson. Carroll/Cooper, sentenced to life in 1992 for aggravated robbery in Hot Spring County, would immediately become eligible for parole. The circuit judge and sheriff objected to the commotion. Dickson was sentenced to 40 years in Fulton County in 2000 for first-degree murder. He would also immediately become eligible for parole.

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