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Conservatives urge McAuliffe to spare life of Ivan Teleguz

WHSV archive image of Ivan Teleguz walking from court in 2006
WHSV archive image of Ivan Teleguz walking from court in 2006(WHSV)
Published: Apr. 10, 2017 at 6:15 PM EDT
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More than two dozen conservatives are the latest group calling on Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to spare the life of a

.

Ivan Teleguz is

unless McAuliffe steps in. The 38-year-old was

of hiring another man to kill his ex-girlfriend.

In a letter to the Democratic governor, the conservatives say they believe there is too much doubt to put the Ukrainian-born man to death, noting that two witnesses who implicated Teleguz have since recanted.

"Executing a man who might be innocent would provide no benefit and only leave a terrible stain on Virginia and our justice system," they said.

The man convicted of fatally stabbing Stephanie Sipe in 2001 has maintained that Teleguz hired him to do the killing.

Among those who signed the letter is former Republican Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, ex-Republican Party of Virginia Executive Director Shaun Kenney and Brent Bozell III, president of the conservative media watchdog group Media Research Center. They're asking McAuliffe to commute Teleguz's sentence to life in prison.

Two Democratic state lawmakers and a group of religious leaders have also sent letters asking McAuliffe to spare Teleguz's life.

McAuliffe's office has said Teleguz's clemency petition is under review.

_____

The Virginia Council of Churches and two Democratic lawmakers are urging Gov. Terry McAuliffe to halt the execution of an inmate convicted of hiring a man to kill his ex-girlfriend.

The Virginia Council of Churches is delivering a letter to McAuliffe Monday asking him to spare 38-year-old Ivan Teleguz's life. Del. Marcus Simon and Del. Patrick Hope have also sent a letter to McAuliffe

.

Teleguz is

. He was convicted in 2006 of hiring a man to kill Stephanie Sipe in Harrisonburg.

Teleguz's attorneys

on Friday. Teleguz maintains his innocence, and since his trial, two key prosecution witnesses have recanted.

A spokesman for McAuliffe said Teleguz's clemency petition is under review.