Family of dying inmate seeks clemency from governor

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - A Richmond family wants mercy from Governor Terry McAuliffe and medical clemency for a state prisoner who's bedridden with lung cancer.

Only the governor has the authority to approve an act of grace exempting Jason Scott Davis from further punishment. The Powhatan County inmate is incarcerated for assault on a family member, his third offense.

Jason Scott Davis has eight months left to serve, but his family says he may not live that long. Lung cancer had invaded his body and metastasized. Family members say Jason today is 6'1" and 90 pounds.

"He can't even walk," said Jason's father, Charles Davis. "He can't even hold a glass of water. He's not going to jump up, run down the street and break in or sell crack cocaine or steal a car or get drunk."

They family is waiting for Governor McAuliffe's response to their medical clemency request, which reached his office last Wednesday. Jason's oldest brother, Jimmy, says even Powhatan's warden, the prison doctor and a VCU Medical Center physician all made compassionate pleas. Jimmy also worries his brother isn't getting proper end-of-life care.

"He was severely dehydrated," said Jimmy. "His bed was pretty dirty."

Jason's brothers, parents, grandmother and five children want him home or in hospice at a hospital.

"We would have more of a say in his care," said Jimmy.

Early release for gravely ill inmates rarely happens. State numbers show 18 medical clemencies granted since 2010. Jason's dad says his son is on a medical unit with five or six others. He says a couple inmates have died since Jason's been there.

"Jason knows, and we all know, the end is really, really close, and he just wants to pass away with us, not up there in that prison by himself.... (crying) .. Can't do it. It hurts. Please let him come home," said Charles Davis.

Jason is bedridden now, but the family says Jason's envelope artwork, which won honors, shows the rapid and ravaging change. Charles Davis made unity bands, which they all wear, to represent everyone fighting cancer and their hope the governor agrees Jason is sick enough to be eligible for clemency.

"Bring him home and let him pass in peace," said Charles Davis. "Not behind bars with clanging steel bars. Look in your heart. That's my little boy laying in that bed."

The family says Jason has a kind heart but struggled with alcoholism, which they blame for the assaults on family members.

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