The former warden of the Virginia prison that houses the state’s death row inmates has called for clemency for a man about to be executed on November 9. Page True was warden of the Sussex I State Prison and knew death row inmate John Schmitt for over 4 years. “The crime was just terrible,” True said, “but there’s a lot worse inmates that I’ve dealt with in my 36 years in prison systems than Mr. Schmitt.”

True, who described himself “as hardcore as they come,” said there were many more inmates at the same prison serving life sentences and that “compared to some of them, [Schmitt is] a hell of a lot better inmate. We have the security and internal control in prisons to handle a guy like Schmitt,” True said.

“I just don’t think he should be put to death,” he said. “I don’t want to diminish his conduct. It was terrible. Somebody died and families are suffering… . But this guy is no worse than most of those other guys in these prisons [with] life sentences, and that’s my feeling.”

(F. Green, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Nov. 9, 2006). See New Voices and Life Without Parole.