Arizona Gov. Ducey Signs Commutation Papers For 3 Inmates Facing Imminent Death

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 1:07pm
Updated: Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 1:11pm

Dana Huff
Prison Law Office
Dana Huff, shown here with an aggressive tumor on his face, is one of five incarcerated people near death who have been approved for release from prison and are awaiting Gov. Ducey's signature.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed the commutations papers for three people incarcerated in state prisons who were approved for release based on their imminent death. 

There are five people in state prisons who have been approved for release based on recommendations from the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. Medical professionals testified at hearings that all five had less than four months to live.

On Tuesday, Ducey signed off on the commutation papers for Dana Huff, Aubrey Bryson and Ray Garcia.

Dana Huff's wife, Jackie Steffen, said she was grateful for the decision, calling it "a blessing."

The sister of Ray Garcia, Joann Donahue, said Garcia had called his family Monday to say his last goodbyes, thinking he wouldn't be released. 

"We just want to give thanks to God for this miracle," Donahue said. "We feel blessed."

Prison Law Office Attorney Corene Kendrick says she hopes Ducey will act on the two remaining imminent death commutations. 

"His Clemency Board found these people don't pose a risk to public safety, and given their health conditions, they are safer in the community than the prisons," Kendrick said.

Gayle Larassa was approved for release on Jan. 30. Paperwork for Douglas Fields’ release was transmitted to the governor on Dec. 12.