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Barry Beach files new clemency request after law changes to leave final decision with governor


HELENA, Montana — A man convicted of killing a high-school classmate in 1979 has filed a new clemency request now that the law has been changed to give the final decision to the governor instead of the Montana Board of Pardons and Parole.

The board denied Barry Beach's last request — his fourth — last year even though Gov. Steve Bullock said he wanted to consider the application.

Beach was sentenced to 100 years in prison after being convicted of deliberate homicide in the beating death of 17-year-old Kim Nees in Poplar. He has steadfastly denied killing Nees, and his cause has been taken up by several current and former Montana politicians.

The law that went into effect Oct. 1 requires the board to forward the application to the governor within 10 days of completing an assessment.

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