OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-1 to deny death row inmate, Richard Fairchild, clemency in the death of three-year-old Adam Broomhall. The little boy was killed in 1993 after Fairchild burned him on a furnace and threw him across the room, crashing into a table.
During Wednesday’s clemency hearing, the board heard from Fairchild’s attorneys, representing attorneys from the state and the victim’s uncle, Michael Hurst, who read statements from family members.
KFOR spoke with Hurst after the hearing about the decision.
“It won’t give us closure, but it will give us a sense of justice,” said Hurst.
Fairchild’s attorneys argued their client deserved mercy due to severe brain damage, an unfair trial, and good behavior in prison.
“Richie has served 26 years on death row and has proven to be an outstanding prisoner,” said Tricia Russell, Fairchild’s lead council.
State attorneys argued Fairchild made Broomhall’s life a “living hell.” Attorney Julie Pittman, general counsel to Attorney General John O’Connor, said Fairchild intentionally targeted the child, by giving him regular spankings and beatings leading up to the night the child was killed.
“This death was especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel,” said Pittman. “The only punishment fitting was death.”
Attorney General John O’Connor’s office released this statement following the board’s vote,
“The Board’s decision to deny Fairchild’s request for executive clemency was the right decision. Our thoughts and prayers are with Adam’s family.”
Fairchild did not speak during the hearing. His attorneys said it was due to his mental state, but they did read a statement on his behalf.
“Every day I wake up, I think about Adam, and I say a prayer for Adam and his family.”
Fairchild’s attorneys did release a statement following the board’s decision saying,
“As Richard Fairchild’s brain has deteriorated, he has descended into psychosis, a fact well-documented in his prison records,” said Emma Rolls, one of Mr. Fairchild’s attorneys. “Yet despite having lost touch with reality, Richard remains remorseful for his crime and continues to have an unblemished prison record. There is no principled reason for Oklahoma to execute him.”
Those pleas were not enough to convince the board to spare Fairchild’s life. Hurst said he hoped the decision can mend their family, which was torn apart by the little boy’s death.
“This should hopefully this will help us heal and maybe come together as a family again,” said Hurst. “I want nothing more.”
Fairchild will be executed November 17th, which will also be his 63rd birthday.