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Fetterman cast lone vote in failed bid to free man convicted in first-degree murder of high schooler

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman last year voted in favor of commuting the life sentence of a man convicted of first-degree murder.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. and Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman last year cast the lone vote in a failed bid to free a man convicted of murdering a 17-year-old.

Alexis Rodriguez is serving a life sentence in Dallas after he was one of five suspects convicted of first-degree murder in the 1989 killing of Sean Daily, a high school junior and the son of a Philadelphia police officer. 

Rodriguez, then 18, and the others were accused of beating Daily with a baseball bat before fatally shooting him in the back in a gang-related, revenge motivated attack. The killing sparked racial unrest in Philadelphia at the time, because the victim was White while the suspects were majority Hispanic.

The Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, which Fetterman chairs, held a public hearing for Rodriguez on Dec. 1, 2021, and Fetterman cast the lone vote in favor of commuting the convicted murderer’s sentence. 


In a 3-1 vote, Rodriguez’s request for commutation was denied.

Fetterman’s record on crime has come under scrutiny as his race heats up against Republican opponent, Mehmet Oz.

Fetterman’s campaign has previously defended the Democrat's approach to clemency cases. 

"This is a desperate effort to distract from new reporting today proving that Dr. Oz is a medical fraud and malicious scam artist who knowingly hurt regular people to line his own pockets," spokesman Joe Calvello said Monday when reached by Fox News Digital, citing a Washington Post report saying Oz and his former eponymous TV show promoted potentially dangerous products. 

"John's record on the Board of Pardons has been widely praised by Democrats and Republicans alike," he continued. "John saved taxpayer money and took a fair-minded approach to every case he considered, voting to deny hundreds of pardon and commutation cases while also siding with law enforcement experts nearly 90% of the time. The commutation in this case was supported by both prosecutors and corrections officers at the time."

The Fetterman campaign said Rodriguez's release was supported by the state's Department of Corrections and the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office at the time, and that Rodriguez has rehabilitated himself in prison.

In March of last year, Fetterman cast the lone vote in a failed bid to commute the sentence of John David Brookins, who is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murdering a woman with a pair of scissors.

Fetterman also successfully pushed for the early release of Raymond Johnson, who was sentenced to life in prison after he was convicted of first-degree and second-degree murder in a 1973 York County slaying. 

Fetterman has said he wants to eliminate mandatory life sentences for those convicted of second-degree murder, but he has not said that applies to first-degree murder.

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