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Condemned man's lawyers say gov can't veto commutation board

Death row
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-03 19:30:09-05

Attorneys for a death row inmate say Idaho Gov. Brad Little doesn’t have the legal authority to overrule the state parole board’s commutation recommendation, and they are taking the matter to court.

Gerald Ross Pizzuto Jr. has been on death row for 35 years after being convicted for the July 1985 slayings of two gold prospectors at a cabin near McCall. He is dying of cancer, and last month the Idaho Commission of Pardons and Parole recommended his sentence be changed to life in prison. The governor rejected the recommendation.

Pizzuto's attorneys say Idaho's constitution gives the parole board — not the governor — final say on the matter.