PHOENIX - Twenty-two Arizona inmates have been freed because of a ruling
that former Gov. Fife Symington did not properly sign papers denying
The state attorney general recommended the action after the state Supreme
Court ruled unanimously that Symington did not properly follow procedures
when he denied a commutation for an inmate recommended by the clemency
The denial was signed illegibly, apparently by a Symington aide, and
there was no indication that Symington decided the matter, the ruling said.
Symington also failed to properly submit the form to the secretary of state,
the court said.
The court's decision was based on a 1994 law that relaxed mandatory
sentences and set up clemency procedures for inmates who were serving
harsher sentences than the new law recommended.