Henry rejects clemency request for Vietnamese man

Wednesday, January 28th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Gov. Brad Henry denied clemency Wednesday for a Vietnamese national convicted of killing a man with a meat cleaver and kitchen knife.

Henry granted a stay last month for Hung Thanh Le, halting his scheduled Jan. 6 execution, because he had not had time to review the case.

In an executive order Wednesday, Henry said he had reviewed arguments and evidence in Le's case and met with Le's attorney before deciding to deny clemency for Le.

The Oklahoma attorney general's office said late Wednesday it was requesting a new execution date of Feb. 10 for Le, said Jennifer Miller, chief of criminal appeals. According to a state statute, the execution must be scheduled within 30 days of the date the stay is removed.

The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted unanimously Dec. 9 in favor of clemency for Le, whose attorney had argued the man did not have access to legal help from his embassy after being arrested on an accusation of murder.

Le's attorney also raised the possibility that Le's original lawyers didn't consider post traumatic stress disorder as a possible defense.

Le was convicted in 1995 killing Hai Hong Nguyen, a man he met while at a refugee camp in Vietnam.