Ark. parole board rejects clemency request for Cox .
he Arkansas Parole Board rejected a clemency request Monday by a man serving a life sentence for a killing he committed at 16 in Cross County.
The parole board voted 5-0 to reject the application by Richard Cox, 29. Cox was convicted in the 1996 death of Holly Strickland and received a life without parole sentence. Also convicted - in a separate trial - was Kingrale Collins, who was sentenced to death.
On May 18, 1996, Collins shot Strickland when she answered the door of a house where she was staying in Wynne, according to court documents. Cox admitted to carrying and hiding the shotgun as he ran away from the crime scene, but said he did not fire the weapon.
In his clemency application, Cox asked for leniency because he was "with the wrong person at the wrong time."
"I've seen the world for somewhat of what it is; a cold-hearted and at the same time loving place," Cox wrote. "Basically, I believed that I have paid my debt to society as a whole as well as rehabilitated myself."
Prosecutor Fletcher Long opposed the clemency request, saying that Cox helped kill Strickland "purely for the thrill of it."
In April 2006, a federal appeals court rejected a lawsuit by Cox, who is black, claiming he did not receive a fair trial from an all-white jury. Cox also argued the trial court erred in not requiring an explanation for the prosecution's dismissal of Dorothy Caddell, a black woman who stated she could not impose the death penalty on a 16-year-old.
In its dismissal, the appeals court noted that white jurors were also removed from the jury pool for expressing reluctance about imposing the death penalty.
Cox is serving his sentence at the state's Varner Unit