The following excerpt is from an op-ed by Senator O’Ban published in the Seattle Times:
SEE if you agree with a Bellingham jury:
In 1995, Kristy Lynn Ohnstad, a 14-year-old Bellingham girl, was taken to a secluded area by her mother’s boyfriend, dragged to the back of a van, and told to remove her clothes or be “seriously hurt.” At just over 100 pounds, she had no chance to fight back. Her cries for mercy were ignored. He raped her, choked her, cinched a belt around her neck and drove a metal spike through her ear into her brain. She was still alive, so Clark Richard Elmore covered her head with a plastic bag and beat her skull with a sledgehammer.
Elmore gave a full confession to police and pleaded guilty. When the jury was asked whether they were “convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that there are not sufficient mitigating circumstances to merit leniency,” they were unanimous. Elmore deserved the ultimate punishment for his crimes.
State Sen. Steve O’Ban, R-University Place, represents the 28th Legislative District.
But Gov. Jay Inslee gave this child-murderer what the jury and dozens of judges after 21 years of appeals did not — a reprieve.
Is that justice?
To read the rest of the column, click here.