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Gov. Walker considers pardons in Fairbanks Four case

By Associated Press 3:30 PM December 11, 2015
ANCHORAGE –

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is considering granting pardons or clemency to four indigenous men convicted In the 1997 death of a Fairbanks teenager.

Walker’s deliberations highlight a busy week in the case against the so-called Fairbanks Four, three Alaska Native men and an American Indian who have always maintained their innocence in the death of 15-year-old John Hartman.

The men are seeking to have their convictions overturned, and a judge is expected to make a decision next year.

The state continues to vigorously defend the convictions, but it made a surprise offer this week to free the three remaining jailed men. In exchange, all four would not be allowed to sue government entities.

A judge canceled a Friday hearing over the deal, saying it wasn’t clear to him that he had the authority to free the men after prosecutors neither pardoned nor offered clemency.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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