An inmate at the center of a racial controversy between a Superior Court judge and county prosecutors has been denied a chance at an early release from prison.
The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted 3-2 Jan. 17 to deny a commutation request from Patrick Ivey, 21, who was sentenced in August to a mandatory seven years in prison for an armed burglary in Paradise Valley.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Warren Granville, who sentenced Ivey, accused the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office of racial bias, saying prosecutors singled out Ivey, who is poor and black, but ignored
others involved in the crime who were either white or affluent.
A jury convicted Ivey in June of armed burglary. Prosecutors refused Granville’s request to restructure the charge so he could sentence Ivey to less than seven years.
Normally, an inmate can seek commutation after serving two years of a prison sentence, said Erin Warzecha, a hearing officer for the clemency board.
Granville, however, invoked a special provision in the law that allowed Ivey to petition the board within three months of beginning his sentence.
“We were pleased the board of clemency denied this application,” county attorney spokesman Barnett Lotstein said.
Lotstein said Granville’s racial allegations were unfounded.
The county attorney’s office has since filed a complaint against Granville with the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct, the state watchdog over judges.
Granville has said he wants the complaint, which is normally kept secret by the commission, to be made public.