The chairman of the Oklahoma Pardon & Parole board has stepped down. The board has been in the spotlight recently as executions resume in the state.
Adam Luck's resignation comes after Governor Stitt asked him to step away from his position on the board. At issue, his opinions on the death penalty.
Luck has weighed in on five clemency hearings after the moratorium on executions ended in October. In his resignation letter, he alludes to he and Governor Stitt differing on the death penalty.
Luck's letter reads "I understand these beliefs differ from yours [Stitt's] and while I could continue my service I wish to honor your request and allow you to appoint an individual more aligned with your position."
"He [Luck] was appointed during the moratorium period and thinking that maybe we're not going to have to have this issue before us, life or death," explained News 9 Legal analyst Irven Box. He added, "Keep in mind that person still if he's against the death penalty is supposed to follow the rules and constitution of the state."
The Victims Innocence Project Co-Founder, Amy Kingry, said Luck's resignation is needed as they believe he was ready to recommend clemency before the hearings started.
"Say you're on trial and you know that every person on that jury thinks you're guilty. That's exactly what they were walking into."
Governor Stitt appointed former Episcopal Bishop Dr. Edward Konieczny to fill Luck's place; though it appears he is also against the capital punishment.
"He authored with 15 other bishops a paper a statement against the death penalty and how it not be imposed," said Box.
The Oklahoma Conference of Churches said the letter was penned at most, six years ago. Stitt said in part a statement about the appointment:
“I am excited to welcome Edward to state service as a member of the Pardon and Parole Board,” said Governor Stitt. “He is an inspiring leader with a servant's heart, and I am confident in his ability to make and own responsibility for critical decisions.”
Kingry's highlights Konieczny's decades in law enforcement.
"Those are the people that have seen the worst of the worst. Those are the people who have seen these murders and crimes," she said.
Luck's resignation will not affect any of the hearings upon which he voted.