Anthony Sanchez on Why He Rejected Clemency
With days to go before his possible execution, Anthony Sanchez has asked that I share his original reasons for rejecting clemency. He wants to make sure that nobody gets it twisted. The text is below and a link to the audio of the statement is below that.
June 28, 2023
Anthony Sanchez’s Final Statement on Why He Rejected Clemency
I’ve been asked several different times, “Why did you let Jeff Hood talk you out of doing clemency?” Well, that’s far from the truth. This really don’t have much to do with clemency. It’s got to do with my lawyers. I’ve been trying to fire these lawyers way before I ever met you. To answer the questions specifically to clemency though, I’ve watched folk repeatedly go up to clemency, say they are sorry and beg for mercy…some were able to show their innocence…and they were still executed. The Board does nothing but kick people when they’re already down. Take for example BJ Stouffer. This man actually got clemency and was still executed. So he did all of that and they still executed him. He could have spent all the time he spent on clemency actually fighting in court. What a waste. They all blamed it on Gov. Stitt. Well, Gov. Stitt is still the Gov. ain’t he? Why isn’t he the one sitting in the clemency hearing? It’s like somebody going to trial and the judge being on vacation. The one who makes the ultimate decision is not even the one that I’m talking to. I don’t understand that. James Coddington went up there and poured his soul out…he got clemency and they still executed him. Clemency is a joke. These people act like they have authority when they really don’t. It would be a different story if they had the ultimate say so…but they don’t. These folks can’t stop my execution or overturn my conviction. They can only recommend. The Board is full of people who are going to rule against me no matter what…former prosecutors, judges and law enforcement officials. The same people who put us in prison are the ones who are going to judge whether we get executed or not? Come on. How could that be fair? Of course, at this point people want to bring up Julius Jones. The explanation there is simple, Kim Kardashian…if it wasn’t for her and all of her followers…he would have been executed just like the rest of them. Plus, Julius Jones didn’t get no good deal. A life without sentence and forfeit your appeals? Come on. How is that even legal? It feels like such a waste of time to build a case for clemency. I’ve been telling everybody I’m innocent from the beginning…and nobody will listen. So I’m supposed to go up for clemency with the belief that the Board will? An even if they did, I’m supposed to get my hopes up for Gov. Stitt to knock them down. Look at the way that this Gov. has treated native peoples. I can’t trust him. How can I expect a state that has screwed over native peoples forever? There are so many factors that went into this decision. To say that Jeff Hood is responsible for my decision is absolutely foolish. Hood has given me a platform to share my story that I could have never dreamed of. If the courts don’t step in, the bottom line is that I am dead whether I go up there for clemency or not. I would be just like BJ Stouffer and James Coddington. The Board cannot declare me to be anything other than deserving of mercy…I need a declaration that I am innocent…not that I am deserving of mercy. I don’t want this foolishness they did with Julius Jones. Why would anybody sign for a life without when they claim they are innocent? I’m not doing it. I’m not signing anything out of fear. I try not to think about being executed. I want to live the life that I have right now. I want to file my own stuff. I want to fight in court until the last minute. If I’m executed…let it be said of me…that I died standing for my innocence rather than begging for clemency on my knees.
*edited for clarity/based on clarifying conversations with Anthony
Audio of Anthony’s Explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A2mazZpC8M