Parole board urges clemency for Vietnamese national

Wednesday, December 10th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board has recommended that Gov. Brad Henry spare the life of a Vietnamese national facing a January 6 execution.

The board ruled Tuesday on a request from Hung Thanh Le's attorney, who said the man didn't get access to legal help from his embassy after being arrested on an accusation of murder. He also raised the possibility Le's original lawyers didn't consider post traumatic stress disorder as a possible defense.

Jurors took only 37 minutes after getting the case in 1995 to convict Le of using a kitchen knife and meat cleaver to kill Hai Hong Nguyen in his home.

The men had been together in a refugee camp in their native Vietnam at one time.

Pardon and Parole Board members voted unanimously, with chairman Patrick Morgan abstaining because he was an Oklahoma County prosecutor at the time of the case.