(May 24, 2005) – Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels today denied the clemency
petition of Gregory Scott Johnson. On May 20, the Indiana Parole Board voted
4-0 to recommend against a grant of clemency for Mr. Johnson, who was found
guilty of felony murder and arson in connection with the June 23, 1985 slaying
of Ruby Hutslar in Anderson
following a burglary of her home.
The governor said that after his own independent study and
review, he found no grounds to second-guess years of court rulings or to reject
the recommendation of the parole board.
Mr. Johnson also had asked for a temporary reprieve from his
scheduled execution May 25 before sunrise, so medical testing and procedures
could be conducted to allow him to donate his liver to his sister, Debra Otis.
Specific to this request, the governor said:
“In view of the family
relationship, I accepted the sincerity of Mr. Johnson’s motivation in
making this offer. If his proposal had turned out to create a clear,
demonstrated medical advantage to his sister, I might well have considered a
brief postponement to seek a way to fulfill the request. But ultimately I was
not faced with that decision. The advice of medical experts, including Debra
Otis’ own specialist, was definitive that she should not pursue a
procedure with Mr. Johnson as donor, but rather will be better served by
accepting transplanted organs through the conventional process.”
Attached is a letter to the governor from Dr. Joseph Tector
and Dr. Hwan Yoo, both of Clarian Health Partners in Indianapolis, which outlines their medical
conclusions about this case. Dr. Tector is Clarian’s
Director of Organ Transplantation, and Dr. Yoo is Ms. Otis’ specialist.